Tarrant County College Wins $10,200 Grant to Read ‘The Things They Carried’

NEABigRead-BW-Lockup(2)Tarrant County College (TCC) received a $10,200 National Endowment for the Arts grant to host NEA Big Read in Tarrant County. Managed by Arts Midwest, Big Read exposes citizens to great works of literature and encourages them to read for pleasure and enrichment.
TCC is one of 77 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive a grant to host a NEA Big Read project between September 2016 and June 2017. The NEA Big Read at TCC will focus on Tim O’Brien’s book The Things They Carried, a look into lives of soldiers during the Vietnam War. Activities will take place from Oct. 22 through Nov. 22, 2016. Free paperback copies of the book will be available at participating locations throughout the event.
TCC libraries and community partner, The Soul Repair Center, housed at Brite Divinity School, will host several public events this fall: a keynote lecture by David Bachelor, Ph.D., a capstone lecture featuring Jonathan Shay, Ph.D., and a panel discussion focusing on “Hearts and Minds,” with the latter two events being held on the Texas Christian University campus. Other local community partners that will join TCC libraries in supporting the reading of The Things They Carried include the Arlington Public Library, the North Richland Hills Public Library, the NAS Ft. Worth JRB Library and the Sam Rayburn Veterans Center in Bonham. The National Vietnam War Museum in Weatherford will loan period-specific artifacts for display to select TCC libraries.
“Tarrant County College always wants to promote the importance of reading, and this NEA Big Read grant gives us another meaningful way to do so,” said Daniel F. Flores, Ph.D., TCC Southeast public services librarian and NEA Big Read project director. “All five TCC campus libraries will participate in this community-wide event, providing an opportunity for TCC and its partners to facilitate important and relevant discussions about ‘moral injury’ in combat veterans, a psychological condition related to PTSD but much more difficult to interpret.”
David Bachelor, Ph.D., director of Warrior Wash Ministry, will be the keynote speaker when NEA Big Read activities are launched Oct. 19.  Director of The Soul Repair Center Rita N. Brock, Ph.D., will lead a panel discussion at Texas Christian University on Nov. 1. Jonathan Shay, Ph.D., a psychiatrist specializing in treating soldiers suffering from combat trauma, will be the capstone speaker on Nov. 17. A detailed list of NEA Big Read events at TCC is available at www.tccd.edu.
NEA chairman Jane Chu said, “I have the opportunity to travel around the country and see the way the arts can inspire, allow for reflection and create new experiences. I look forward to the creative ways these 77 organizations will bring their communities together around a great work of literature through their participation in NEA Big Read.”
The NEA Big Read provides communities nationwide with the opportunity to read, discuss and celebrate one of 37 selections from U.S. and world literature. This year’s winning organizations will receive Big Read grants to promote and carry our community-based reading programs and other activities. The NEA has also developed high-quality free of charge materials to supplement each title, including reader’s guides, teacher’s guides and audio programming, all of which are available to the public on www.neabigread.org.