What are the goals of the Read-a-thon?
The goals of the Read-a-Thon are simple. They are:
To raise awareness for Harriet Wilson as person of national significance and of African-American experience in general through the reading of texts.
Increase community involvement in the history of Harriet Wilson.
To raise funds for the Harriet Wilson Memorial Sculpture and Bicentennial Park Redevelopment, commissioned to Boston artistFern Cunningham and Amherst (NH) landscape designer Claudia Everest.
Who was Harriet Wilson and why is she and her book of importance to us?
In 1859, Harriet Wilson, an African-American woman from Milford, New Hampshire, published a novel with the stated hope of earning sufficient money simply to survive. Instead, her novel Our Nig; or Sketches From the Life of A Free Black, became a powerful narrative that continues to touch and unsettle readers even today. Today, Our Nig is generally accepted as an autobiographical novel which integrates two genres of the American literary tradition─ the Sentimental Novel and the 19th century Slave Narrative─ and stands today as the first known novel published by a black woman in English and the earliest novel published in the United States by an African American.
Who is eligible to participate?
All are welcome to participate. Certain prizes are, however given by category (students, teachers/staff, etc).
Will teachers/students receive a reading list?
Yes, the Harriet Wilson Project, in conjunction with John Ernest, Professor of English at the UNH and Beth Powers of Milford High School, has compiled an African American Reading List .
Do students only get credit for reading books on a particular reading list?
No, students will get credit for reading books from any/all genres but we encourage students to read books on the list and offer as an incentive the following: the school that reads the most books from the list will receive a signed print from esteemed artist Richard Haynes. You can view our recommended reading list here
What is the official Read-a-Thon period?
The official period will run from Friday Sept. 16 to Friday November 18th. Money collection period is from November 18 –28. Final collection is due to the coordination teacher/staff member.
Will there be an awards ceremony?
Yes, the awards ceremony where we will announce which school and individual has read the most books and raised the most money will be held at a central Milford location on or around December 2 (date still tentative).
Are donations tax deductible?
Yes, the Harriet Wilson Project is a state registered 501c3 non-profit organization.
To whom do I make my check payable?
The Harriet Wilson Project
Where can I find more information?
See your school’s Reading for Harriet coordinator or by phone at 494-4475 or 672-4567