I’m a native West Virginian and I returned to my home state three years ago after being away for almost 30 years (I left shortly after graduating college). There’s a lot that I miss about being in a larger city (such as having a Barnes & Noble right down the street – the closest store is currently 190 miles away or a Borders right around the corner – the closest full-service Borders is approximately 45 miles away), but there are a lot of things to be appreciated as well: a lower crime rate, family all around, and a generally slower pace to life. Normally you only hear about West Virginia with regards to bad news: mine disasters, most obese state, most medicated state, bottom of the list in educational standards, etc. Needless to say these aren’t things that we West Virginians are proud of and are actively striving to change. One such change, I’m happy to note, is the new Read WV campaign sponsored by the WV Dept. of Education, Read Aloud West Virginia, the West Virginia Library Commission, and the Imagination Library. This advertising campaign will feature such notable West Virginians as Jennifer Garner, John Corbett and Sam Trammell. I’m glad to see a program promoting not only reading as a learning tool but a love of reading. I hope it becomes widely successful.
Now back to the bad news…there’s a new book being released later this year that discusses the 1968 mining disaster that killed 78 WV miners. West Virginia University professor Bonnie Stewart investigated this incident and the result is No. 9: The 1968 Farmington Mine Disaster. The 1968 mining incident is an indelible part of our history and this book sheds new light on the disaster.
Does your village/town/city, county, district, state, province or country have a reading promotional campaign? If so, what impact is it having overall?