NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- My Brother’s Keeper New Rochelle (MBKNewRo) is pleased to announce the next theme in its Community Reads program: “Finding a Home in America.” Every year, about one million people move to America to find a new home. They come from Mexico and the Caribbean, Africa and Asia, from all corners of the globe. Many of them find different ways to be accepted in America and prosper.
Working in collaboration with the New Rochelle Public Library and the City School District, MBKNewRo is kicking-off this round of its Community Reads program with a presentation by Dr. Amy Bass, author of the new book “One Goal: A Coach, a Team and the Game that Brought a Divided Town Together.” The book tells a compelling sports story while also providing an important lesson on the power of acceptance and perseverance. Lewiston, Maine was an overwhelmingly white community when in 2001, thousands of Somali refugees began arriving. Within a decade, the town’s non-white population surged more than 800 percent. The city of 36,000 had become home to approximately 7,000 immigrants – a demographic shift not matched by any other town of its size in modern U.S. history. For years, Lewiston and its newest residents faced chronic racial tension.
Acceptance for many of the Somali refugees in conservative Lewiston came via soccer, a game the children played extremely well and one their parents -- and eventually the entire community -- embraced. When Lewiston High School’s wise longtime soccer coach Mike McGraw welcomes the Somali students on to his team, he manages to bring compassion and glory to both the team and the town.
Students and community members are invited to attend the kick-off presentation at 2 pm on April 23rd for the talk on the new book “One Goal” by Dr. Amy Bass, who is a New Rochelle resident, Director of the Honors Program and a Professor of History at the College of New Rochelle.
“We are so excited about reading books centered on the important theme of welcoming newcomers into our country,” notes New Rochelle Principal Reggie Richardson, co-chair of MBKNewRo. “Amy Bass is so talented and has been a real friend to the school district so we are confident our kick-off presentation about her book “One Goal” is going to be exceptional,” adds Principal Richardson.
The kick-off event will take place in the Linda Kelly Theater in the new wing of New Rochelle High School. Parking is available in the tennis courts lot on the corner of North Avenue and Braemar.
There are two other discussions set for "One Goal," first a My Brother’s Keeper New Rochelle Facebook Live discussion on Tuesday, May 15th at 6:30 pm and a Brown Bag Book discussion at the New Rochelle Public Library on Wednesday, May 30th at noon.
In addition to “One Goal: A Coach, a Team, and the Game That Brought a Divided Town Together,” for high school students and adults, MBKNewRo has selected four additional books for different ages around the theme of “Finding a Home in America:”
- For middle-school students: “Outcasts United: An American, a Refugee Team, and One Woman's Quest to Make a Difference” by Warren St. John
- For fourth- and fifth-graders: “Save Me a Seat” by Sarah Weeks
- For second- and third-graders: “My Two Blankets” by Irena Kobald and Freya Blackwood
- For pre-K through first-grade students: “I'm New Here” by Anne Sibley O'Brian
MBKNewRo is working with the New Rochelle Public Library and the City School District to plan events and programs around these titles as well so please check the My Brother’s Keeper New Rochelle Facebook page and website for updates. Copies of all the books in the “New Rochelle: All on the Same Page” Community Reads program are available at the New Rochelle Public Library.
“We hope the entire New Rochelle community – including schools, houses of worship and our non-profit partners -- will join us and read and discuss these books with friends and neighbors,” adds Councilman Jared Rice, co-chair of MBKNewRo. “We can all learn from each other when we discuss topics of importance to our community.”
If you have suggestions for events or have questions about the Community Reads program, please send a note to [email protected].
On April 29th, 2015, New Rochelle became the first community in Westchester County and one of the first in the state to accept President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Challenge. Six additional communities in Westchester and another 250 cities and towns across the country have joined the My Brother’s Keeper initiative, which is designed to help all students flourish, particularly boys and young men of color.
My Brother’s Keeper New Rochelle is a unique partnership between the City of New Rochelle and the School District and is supported by more than 120 community partners and 100 volunteers. MBKNewRo has launched or implemented more than two dozen events, programs and activities to help students make progress in all six of the Milestones outlined in this cradle-to-career initiative.
To learn more about MBKNewRo, please visit its website at mbknewro.com or check out the organization’s posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To volunteer or donate, please write to [email protected]