Malden offers several different programs that can involve each and every one of its residents in the community. One of these organizations is the Malden Reads program. Malden Reads: One City, One Book is a reading program for the community that strives to bring the community together by having as many people as possible read the same book.
Each year, the Malden Reads subcommittee of the Steering Committee directs their book selection committee. Any member of the community is allowed to join in on this process. They must posses a great love of reading, be willing and able to read the books being considered, and attend meetings. Suggestions for books from the general public are considered and encouraged.
For cost reasons, the books selected need to be available in the paperback version. The committee wants to promote a book that can be easily accessible to an average reader in the community. Also, they want to call to a large portion of the Malden community, and put forward ample and applicable themes to explore throughout the program. Going into their fifth year of the program, the Malden Reads committee tries to select books that contrast previously selected books.
Last year, Malden Reads chose the book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. The program offers a great selection of different activities that pertain to the book being explored. Book discussions are held, along with film screenings that showcase films relating to the subject. More events held are community dinner series, children and family events, and cultural and social events. Lectures and panel discussions add on to the various different events held by the Malden Reads committee. These wondrous events are open to the community and it is not required for people attending to have read the book.
Malden Reads sparks conversation amongst the community. The tremendous value of books and literature is highly expressed through this program. Co-founder and co-facilitator of the Malden Reads program and Associate Director of Malden Access Television, Anne D’Urso-Rose said that “[the program] provides opportunities for the community to meet, interact, and come together through a wide range of programs and activities.” The program supports their mission also by raising money that is used to provide schools and learning centers around the community with books.
The people that volunteer with Malden Reads develop a broader understanding of their own community and discover new ways of adding extra value to the community around them. Volunteers are always welcome to join and youth involvement is encouraged greatly. The program is constantly looking for youth-generated ideas.