Using This I Believe in Common Reading Programs

The practice of assigning students “common reading”—asking them to read the same book simultaneously—has gained popularity in recent years as secondary schools, colleges, and universities have sought new ways to enrich the campus experience. Like similar public reading initiatives sponsored by cities, libraries, and television shows, educational common reading programs rest on a simple idea: that reading the same book brings people closer together as a community by creating common ground for discussion.

This I Believe books provide rich opportunities for students engaged in a common reading program. Reading a collection of This I Believe essays:

• encourages students to read beyond textbooks.
• enriches the campus community through exploration of personal values and beliefs.
• raises awareness and tolerance of intergenerational and cultural likenesses and differences.
• promotes civic discourse and critical thinking.
• increases student-to-student interaction.
• integrates an academic and social experience into the campus community.
• appeals to both males and females.
• has potential for strong programming opportunities beyond the reading experience, including writing, listening, and podcasting of personal essays.

This I Believe and This I Believe II have been used in the following Common Reading Programs:

 

All-School Read (Secondary Schools)


• Cherokee High School (Marlton, NJ) – 2011
• De La Salle Institute (Chicago, IL) – 2013
• Dracut High School (Dracut, MA) – 2013
• Harrison High School (Harrison, NY) – 2013
• Hopewell Valley Central High School (NJ) – 2013
• Kimball Union Academy (NH) – 2010
• Montgomery Bell Academy (TN) – 2009
• Newton South High School (MA) – 2010
• Sacred Heart High School (MA) – 2008
• Sage Hill School (CA) – 2010
• Shawnee High School (Medford, NJ) – 2011
• Vermont Academy – 2008
• The Westminster Schools, High School (GA) – 2010
• Williamstown High School (NJ) – 2012

One Book/One Campus (College or University)

• Central Washington University – 2009
• College of DuPage (IL) – 2009
• University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – 2012

First-Year Experience or Summer Reading Program (College or University)

• Aquinas College (MI) – 2010, 2011
• Avila University (MO) – 2008, 2009
• Baker University (KS) – 2014
• Barry University (FL) – 2009
• Bellarmine University (KY) – 2013
• Bowling Green State University (OH) – 2009, 2010
• Bucknell University (PA) – 2011
• California State University San Marcos – 2013
• Cedar Crest College (PA) – 2011
• Coker College (SC) – 2010, 2012, 2013
• Columbus State University (GA) – 2010
• Concord University (WV) – 2011
• Craven Community College (NC) – 2011
• Davidson College (NC) – 2008
• Dominican College (NY) – 2010
• Eastern Illinois University – 2009, 2010
• Elmhurst College (IL) – 2011
• Endicott College (MA) – 2008, 2010
• Florida State University – 2010
• Gainesville State College (GA) – 2009
• Georgia Highlands College (GA) – 2013
• Illinois College (IL) – 2011
• Ithaca College (NY) – 2009
• Ivy Tech Community College (Kokomo, IN) – 2013
• Jacksonville State University (AL) – 2011
• Jacksonville University (FL) – 2013
• Kaskaskia College (IL) – 2014
• Kent State (OH) – 2010, 2011
• Lindsey Wilson College (KY) – 2008, 2009, 2010
• Longwood University (VA) – 2010, 2011
• Louisburg College (NC) – 2009
• Louisiana Tech University – 2011, 2012, 2013
• Loyola University Chicago (IL) – 2010
• Lynchburg College (VA) – 2011
• Miami University (OH) – 2010
• Middle Tennessee State University – 2014
• Middlesex Community College (MA) – 2011, 2012
• Midwestern State University (TX) – 2009
• Minnesota State University, Mankato – 2011
• Mitchell College (CT) – 2013
• Mt. Ida College (MA) – 2009
• North Central College (IL) – 2014
• Northern Arizona University – 2014
• Northern Illinois University – 2011, 2012
• Northern Kentucky University – 2010
• Penn State Berks (PA) – 2014
• Penn State Brandywine (PA) – 2011
• Penn State New Kensington (PA) – 2014
• Ripon College (WI) – 2011
• Rivier College (NH) – 2011
• Roberts Wesleyan College (NY) – 2011
• Rosemont College (PA) – 2010
• Rowan University (NJ) – 2014
• Saint Martin’s University (WA) – 2011
• Seton Hall University (NJ) – 2012
• Seton Hill University (PA) – 2009
• Shepherd University (WV) – 2011
• Shorter University (GA) – 2010
• Southern Connecticut State University – 2012
• Springfield College (MA) – 2008
• The State University of New York at Geneseo (NY) – 2013
• The State University of New York at Brockport (NY) – 2014
• Stockton College (NJ) – 2012
• Stonehill College (MA) – 2011
• Texas Woman’s University – 2014
• Tufts University (MA) – 2010
• University of Central Arkansas, Honors College – 2008
• University of Dayton (OH) – 2011, 2012
• University of Louisiana—Monroe – 2010
• University of Louisville (KY) – 2013, 2014
• University of New Orleans (LA) – 2013, 2014
• University of Pikeville (KY) – 2014
• University of Tennessee at Chattanooga – 2013
• University of Vermont – 2012
• University of Wisconsin—Parkside – 2010
• Virginia Tech – 2011, 2012
• Walsh University (OH) – 2011
• Washburn University (KS) – 2010
• William Paterson University (NJ) – 2010, 2011
• William Woods University (MO) – 2010

A speaking engagement with Dan Gediman is a unique way to engage students after having read This I Believe, This I Believe II, or This I Believe: Life Lessons.  Please contact us for more information.