OSWEGO, NY Ã¢â‚¬â€œ The Oswego City School District invites everyone to have a cup of tea.
“Three Cups of Tea” actually; the book written by Greg Mortenson.
“Oswego Reads” was formed with the goal to create a community wide experience that can be enjoyed by all segments and all ages of our community by embracing the same book, according to Laura Ryder, the district’s director of literacy.
This tome was selected because of its message, according to Bill Riley, of the rivers’ end bookstore, who is participating in the program.
“It’s talking about a world that’s succeeding through education as opposed to war,” he said. “The message is let’s achieve peace.”
The book has been on the best seller list for three years, and still is, he added.
Since it has been on the list, the publisher has created a picture book version and a middle reader edition as well.
“In so doing it lends itself beautifully to being incorporated into all levels within the school district and community,” he said.
“Three Cups of Tea Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Young Readers Edition” is aimed at grades 6-8.
“Listen To The Wind (The Story of Dr. Greg & Three Cups of Tea) is suitable for students in grades 1-3.
The program is a cooperative effort among the district, SUNY Oswego, the Oswego Public Library, Oswego Health, Pathfinder Bank, the chamber and others.
To provide more information, they have created an Oswego Reads website, Ryder said.
“We have been meeting in committee since this summer,” she said. “This is a huge initiative. The actual community read will kick off in the fall of 2010, September. It will be a two-month community read with various events throughout those two months.”
The group’s logo depicts the lighthouse casting its beacon above some books.
“It’s our hope that this first-ever community read for Oswego will be the first and that we will continue to do this for the community,” Ryder said.
Community events and activities will be held to promote literacy, discovery, sharing and dialogue of the issues and themes presented in these books, she explained.
The group’s aim is to not only bring the Oswego community together, but also raise awareness and encourage a world view that advocates understanding and tolerance.
The group’s website www.oswegoreads.com also contains curriculum information for teachers, details on the events and more.
“Right now (the site) is in its infancy. There is not much on the pages because we really just got this created right before Christmas,” Ryder explained.
The events committee and publicity committee are working to enhance the website, she added.
“Then, when you come to the site, there will be more and more information,” she said.
It is the group’s hope that the culminating event will be the appearance of the author in Oswego, Riley said.
It would take place at the college’s Campus Center, he added.
“We are currently waiting to hear back from his publisher as far as a confirmation of an exact date,” he said. “We hope to have that tied up by the end of the month.”
According to the website: Greg Mortenson is the co-author of the #1 NY Times Best Seller Three Cups of Tea: One ManÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Mission to Promote Peace, One School At A Time.
It recounts the journey that led Mortenson from a failed 1993 attempt to climb PakistanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s K2, the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s second highest mountain, to successfully establish schools in some of the most remote regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
By replacing guns with pencils, rhetoric with reading, Mortenson combines his unique background with his intimate knowledge of the developing world to promote peace with books, not bombs, and successfully bring education and hope to remote communities in central Asia. Three Cups of Tea is at once an unforgettable adventure and the inspiring true story of how one man really is changing the worldÃ¢â‚¬â€one school at a time.