Dr. Stephen P. Girardot, Director of the Office of Success Programs at Georgia Institute of Technology shares why Outcasts United was chosen for their common reading program and the ways in which they will utilize this wonderful book with their students.
I would HIGHLY recommend this book for use in a first-year seminar or reading program. The response from our students and faculty was incredibly positive, and Warren’s presentation to our students was outstanding.
Again, the bottom line is both the book and Warren’s presentation really hit the mark.
…We used the book as part of our freshman seminar course: a 1-credit, transition to college course and not part of a stand alone freshman/first-year reading program (though I think the book works well with either type of program). We were specifically looking for a book which would speak to students’ transition to college (either directly or indirectly). The local connection to Atlanta was also a plus for us but more importantly, after reading the book, it was immediately obvious that it explores many of the themes that are crucial to our freshman seminar curriculum (and to college transition in general): teamwork and collaboration; the benefits and responsibilities of membership in a diverse community; the importance of service; and the impact that a small group of dedicated and innovative of people can have on their community and beyond. We developed a curriculum which encouraged instructors to use the book to prompt discussion about issues such as working together and forming community despite differences, service and community engagement, and the increasingly global nature of the world.
Warren St. John visited campus in late September. We held a large, plenary session specifically for GT1000 students, instructors, and team leaders (the peer mentors in the course). The lecture was optional but we had over 600 attend. We also had the coach and academic director as part of a panel… Warren was effectively able to discuss how the themes in the book relate to a college freshman. He shared his own stories as a college freshman moving from Alabama to New York and attending Columbia University. Warren also gave a faculty/staff lecture and a lecture as part of our Family Weekend. All events were very well-attended and received very good feedback.
Have book you feel is perfect for common reading programs? Want to share your success and encourage others to select it for their schools? E-mail stories, feedback, or just a short rave to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post it on CommonReads!