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, engaging a wide range of departments and campus communities.