THE BIG READ 2010: Waves Seen, Waves Heard

SE Wisconsin reflects on Sun, Stone and Shadows: 20 Great Mexican Short Stories


In-School Poetry and Musician Outreach: Pushcart nominated poet Edward J. Carvalho and musician Felipe Rodriquez, Jr., provided unique engagement opportunities to our school partners. Carvalho received praise from High School teachers (especially from an alternative school) for demystifying poetry and making the themes in Sun, Stone and Shadows relevant to teenage feelings of disenfranchisement. Students created their own poems and had lively book discussions. Rodriquez likewise, held rousing audience-participation concerts at Middle Schools that built upon school’s engagement in the Big Read. One performance included over 370 students and received strong media coverage.

Cinco de Mayo! UW-Whitewater Student Leadership and Latinos Unidos spearheaded a campus and community celebration in Downtown Whitewater. This free event welcomed K-12 school, city and campus members to celebrate traditional Mexican music, dance and food. A free shuttle between campus and the downtown event allowed for strong UW-Whitewater student participation. The evening culminated in a performance at the Young Auditorium by Sones de Mexico.

Wave Seen, Waves Heard. World Premiere produced by Studio 84: Local art and theatre non-profit, Studio 84, held a successful month-long exhibit of Milwaukee area Hispanic artists that drew 120 guests as well 260 students from four schools. The participatory art component also included a theatrical performance by area students (9 adults, 3 of whom are physically disabled and 11 students, 2 of whom have physical disabilities), wrote and performed. The piece, “Waves Seen, Waves Heard” was inspired by our areas Big Read and engagement with the stories from Sun, Stone and Shadows. The three performances coincided with the finale, and drew 115 guests.

UW-W Curriculum and Instruction Guides. The Curriculum and Instruction Department at UW-Whitewater used the Big Read as a project in Prof. Ann Ruff’s Educational Methods class. Students created a Teachers and Parents guide that incorporated Sun, Stone and Shadows exercises and learning opportunities that could be easily delivered in the classroom. Two-hundred of these guides were printed and made available to participating schools, libraries, and inserted into the traveling Little Reader kits. This exercise proved invaluable as it educated future teachers on methods in incorporating literacy and community outreach activities into their curriculum.

Number of Schools that participated: 29
Number of Libraries that participated: 16
Other organization partners: 10
Book discussions: 29 Book discussion participation: 379

Total Event Participation: Adults: 1,783 Children: 2,642


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