2016/2017 Community Read

Posted 01/09/2017 to 04/04/2017  |  Back

This year's community read, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis, by Robert D. Putnam, tackles one of the most challenging issues of our time: the "opportunity gap" created by the fragility of families, the crumbling of communities, the crisis in K-16 public education, and the disappearance of jobs. A key theme in the work is therefore the question of social mobility in twenty-first century America.



This spring's programming is generously sponsored by a grant from Mass Humanities; these events include:

  • 22 February, 2017, 6:30 p.m.: panel discussion on the 2014 Market Basket boycott, featuring Dr. Kevin McCarthy [Fitchburg State University; Ellis White Lecture Hall] 
  • 4 March, 2017, 11:00 a.m.: screening of the films, "Modern Times" (1936) and "The Devil and Miss Jones (1941), led by Dr. Joseph Moser [Leominster Public Library]
  • 8 March, 2017, at both 1:00 and 6:30 p.m.: two separate community discussions of the book, Our Kids [Fitchburg Public Library]
  • 22 March, 2017, 3:30 p.m.: community discussion of the book, Our Kids, co-sponsored by the Lunenburg Council on Aging and the Lunenburg Public Library [Lunenburg Public Library]
  • 4 April, 2017, 5:30 reception and 7:00 p.m.: keynote talk by Robert Putnam, Harvard professor and author of Our Kids and Bowling Alone [Fitchburg State, Hammond Main Lounge]

Previous events:

  • 19 September, 2016, 3:30 p.m.: "constitution day" panel discussion on education as a constitutional right [Fitchburg State University, Ellis White Lecture Hall]
  • 8 October, 2016, 11:00 a.m.: screening of the films, "99 Homes" (2014) and "Poor Kids" (2012), led by Dr. Joseph Moser [Leominster Public Library]
  • 11 October, 2016, 6:30 p.m.:  public talk by the renowned economist, James Galbraith [Fitchburg State, Ellis White]
  • 1 November, 2016, 3:30 p.m.: screening of the film, "Inequality for All," with free pizza [Fitchburg State, Ellis White]
  • 16 February, 2017, 3:30 p.m.: intergenerational community panel discussion on the American Dream, facilitated by Dr. Benjamin Railton [Leominster Public Library]