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Lt. Gov. Roberts, the Rhode Island Center for the Book and Providence Public Library Launch Reading Across Rhode Island, 2009

Reading and Literacy Initiative Encourages Rhode Islanders to Join Together for Statewide, Community Reading of “Five Skies,” by Author Ron Carlson

PROVIDENCE — Today, Lt. Gov. Elizabeth H. Roberts joined with the Rhode Island Center for the Book and Providence Public Library to launch Reading Across Rhode Island (RARI) 2009.

The Reading Across Rhode Island initiative encourages readers of all ages throughout the state to read, share and discuss a common book. This year’s book selection is "Five Skies," a novel set in the American West by noted short story writer Ron Carlson.

Reading Across Rhode Island launched today with a literary conference at Bryant University for teachers, librarians and book group leaders from across the state. Author Ron Carlson attended the conference and was the keynote speaker. The conference offered attendees the support, ideas and resources to bring Five Skies into bookshops, classrooms, libraries and reading groups as a vehicle for discussion and community-based events and activities from January through May 2009.

Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts, Honorary Co-Chair of RARI, extends an invitation to all Rhode Islanders, from students through senior citizens, to participate in the project. “I welcome the opportunity to encourage and support reading and literacy initiatives throughout the state,” Roberts said. “Our libraries, schools and our homegrown book clubs are all valuable resources. This program brings us all together for a shared conversation about a single book, and I look forward to reading and discussing 'Five Skies' with fellow Rhode Islanders.”

A public celebration of the “community read” will take place on May 9th, 2009 at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet. Author Ron Carlson will return to attend the event as guest speaker.

Information regarding the Reading Across Rhode Island 2009 planned activities, along with suggested reading lists, book discussion guides and other supplementary material may be found on the website at

A project of the Rhode Island Center for the Book and Providence Public Library, Reading Across Rhode Island is sponsored by Fidelity Investments, the Rhode Island Network for Educational Technology, Newport Federal, Bryant College, Reading with Robin, a local radio talk show about books, and Penguin Books, publisher of "Five Skies."


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