Sept. 13, 2010 — All of Kern County is invited to join the 11th annual community read organized by One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern. The book, "The Other Wes Moore" by Wes Moore, is part-memoir, part-biography. It's a story of two Wes Moores growing up at the same time in the same neighborhoods, but who end up on vastly different life paths. One is a Rhodes Scholar, decorated war veteran and successful businessman. The other is serving a life sentence in prison.
The themes that resonate throughout the book can be found right here in Kern County, said Kristie Coons, coordinator of One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern. They include the importance of parenting, mentoring, education, and community in helping our youth grow up to make the right choices for success.
"We have a lot of Wes Moores in Kern County and as a community, we want to support good life outcomes for all of them," Coons said.
Led by Kern County Library and CSU Bakersfield, the One Book committee has pulled in multiple community partners to present free programming related to the book. The read begins with a kickoff event on Sept. 20 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, followed by six weeks of expert panels, book discussions, arts events, and more.
The read culminates with the author himself giving a free talk at CSUB on Nov. 8. The author's visit is made possible through CSUB's Runner Reader Program, which incorporates a multicultural book for all freshmen on campus to read and share a common experience during their first year of college.
"When we first started this program, we had the author come talk to students at the end of fall quarter. Now that we've partnered with One Book, we get to invite the community to come onto campus as well," said Emerson Case, CSUB English Professor and First Year Experience Coordinator.
Community members are encouraged to read the book, hold book discussions, participate in the many events related to the read, and consider becoming a mentor to local youth. People may also donate copies of "The Other Wes Moore" to disadvantaged youths. Every $10 donation puts a book in the hand of a young person in Kern County. Checks should be made out to "Friends of the Kern County Library, Inc." with "One Book Project" in the notation line. Drop donations off at Beale Memorial Library, 701 Truxtun Ave.
3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20
Kick-Off Event: The kick-off for the 2011 One Book Read of The Other Wes Moore will feature special guest speakers and local youth talent reflecting the book's themes through dancing, dramatic readings, and testimonials. FREE. Dr. Martin Luther King Community Center Gym, 1000 S. Owens St., (661) 322-9874.
7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22
Movie Showing & Discussion: Will Smith stars in the film The Pursuit of Happyness, a moving tale inspired by the true story of a salesman struggling to build a future for himself and his young son. Like author Wes Moore, he overcame many life obstacles. FREE. East Bakersfield High School, Auditorium, 2200 Quincy Dr., (661) 871-7221.
7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23
Bakersfield High School Tribute Ceremony: The late Wes Moore, aka "The Colonel," led the Driller band at Bakersfield High School from 1946 to 1979, influencing countless youth in positive ways. A home football game half-time tribute will honor Bakersfield's own Wes Moore. Call for admission prices. Bakersfield High School, Griffith Field, 1241 "G" St., (661) 324-9841.
2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24
Book Discussion: Families are invited to attend an active community discussion relating the themes from The Other Wes Moore to everyday life in Lamont. FREE. Lamont Branch, 8304 Segrue Road, Lamont, (661) 854-5934.
4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4
Book Discussion: How One Decision Changed My Life – Everyone is invited to join a unique discussion centering around their one positive life-changing decision. FREE. Russo's at The Marketplace, 9000 Ming Ave., (661) 665-1643.
6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6
Town Hall Meeting: Solutions for our Children's Future – Community leaders offer an evening of discussion and possible solutions to the obstacles to success facing local families; music and entertainment provided. FREE. Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 825 California Ave., (661) 325-1978.
10:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 14
Preschool Storytime/Parent Workshop: That's How the Story Starts – Families are invited to learn tips and tricks on creating family storytimes powerful enough to help raise responsible and compassionate children. Join special guest reader and early childhood expert Wendy Wayne for a parenting workshop following the storytime. FREE. Beale Memorial Library, 701 Truxtun Ave., (661) 868-0745.
6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11
Dramatic Readings: Moore or Less: You Get What You Give – Local actors will present an evening of dramatic readings as they interpret the story of Wes Moore. Meet/greet mixer 6 p.m., reading at 7 p.m. FREE. Bakersfield Museum of Art, 1930 "R" St., (661) 323-7219.
4:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14
Lecture: CSUB History Dept. presents a History Forum featuring Dr. Sheila Lloyd, Asst. Prof. of English at University of Redlands. The lecture will focus on our society's attraction to the exceptional few while holding low expectations for the majority of the population. FREE. $5 parking. CSUB Dore Theatre, 9001 Stockdale Highway, (661) 654-2166.
Noon Saturday, Oct. 15
Community Festival: Join in the family fun at the Good Neighbor Festival. A community celebration and resource fair will offer vendor booths, entertainment, games, prizes and food. The festival will honor local hidden heroes of the Southeast community. FREE. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park,1000 S. Owens St., (661) 322-9874.
4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15
Panel Discussion: Winning Our Future – An engaging intergenerational conversation with expert community leaders in education, parenting, spiritual guidance, and law enforcement will address the societal issues which affect our lives in Kern County. FREE. Bakersfield Senior Center, 530 4th St., (661) 325-1113.
11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18
Toddler Time/Parent Workshop: Parents are invited to accompany their 18-month through 2-year-old-children for music, nursery rhymes, stories, interactive play, and a workshop featuring a local expert on pre-kindergarten readiness. FREE. Beale Memorial Library, 701 Truxtun Ave., (661) 868-0745.
7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18
Panel Discussion: Life Choices Panel – Local youth and law enforcement representatives from multiple agencies will tell their own stories of success, failure and redemption. FREE. Bakersfield College Fireside Room, 1801 Panorama Dr., (661) 326-3803.
3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19
Children's Art Event: Picture Yourself – This session of Art in the Afternoon will help your child imagine their future while developing different art techniques and expanding creativity through word and collage art, supplies provided. FREE. Beale Memorial Library, 701 Truxtun Ave., (661) 868-0745.
2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20
Book discussion: Coffee Talk - Discuss "The Other Wes Moore" and how CSUB students can relate to its themes. Coffee and cookies provided. Runner Booksore, CSUB, 9001 Stockdale Hwy., 654-2273
11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 22
Local History Lecture: The Legacy of Friendship House – For over five decades, the Friendship House on Cottonwood Road has inspired and mentored families of Southeast Bakersfield. Friendship House pioneer, Fuchsia Ward, will tell the story of the founding of the Friendship House against the backdrop of an era of exciting political change. FREE. Beale Memorial Library, 701 Truxtun Ave., (661) 868-0745.
7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27
Poetry Slam: Positive Prose and Poetry: Action Through Art – What does it take to create poetry so powerful it lifts people up and out of a dark place? Local writers and poets invite the community to gather for an evening of spoken word. FREE. Bakersfield Community Theatre, 2400 S. Chester Ave., (661) 831-8114.
Thurs. Nov. 3 – Sun. Nov. 6
Live Theater: CSUB Theatre Dept. presents Ernest Gaines' A Lesson Before Dying. A young man in late 1940s Cajun country facing the death penalty learns what it means to be a man. Call for performance times and admission. CSUB Dore Theatre, 9001 Stockdale Hwy., (661) 654-3150.
7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8
Evening with the Author: CSUB presents Wes Moore, the best selling author of the unique dual biography The Other Wes Moore. Enjoy an evening of interactive conversation with book signing to follow. FREE. Parking Lot K is free after 6 p.m. CSUB Student Recreation Center Gym, 9001 Stockdale Hwy., (661) 654-2144.
Media ContactColleen Dillaway, Director of Public Affairs & Communications