The All-School Read (ASR) is an opportunity for the entire Berkshire community, from students to alumni, to engage in a body of work from a traditional literary perspective as well as a scientific, economic or historical one.
It’s a chance for students to interact with talented authors and thinkers, while considering a given topic in a real-world context. This examination promotes critical thinking and provides an opportunity for a collective conversation on campus. The program launches in the fall with a kick-off event, and the book's theme is studied within the curriculum and revisited during special events throughout the year.
The 2017 ASR is Walking to Listen: 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story at a Time by Andrew Forsthoefel. Published in March of 2017, the book tells the story of the young author's journey walking across the United States and the many people he met along the way.
After graduating from Middlebury a few months prior, Forsthoefel was ready to begin his adult life, but he didn’t quite know how. So he decided he’d take a cross-country quest for guidance, one where everyone he met would be his guide.
Forsthoefel introduced the book at an all-school meeting in the spring of 2017, and returned this fall to kick off the program by leading a walking and listening exercise, addressing the community, and working with English, history and language classes. The author remarks and Q & A were webstreamed live for our extended community and are available below.
The ASR Contest is a chance for students to articulate, through the written word, a video or audio response, or other artistic means, their understanding and personal connections to Walking to Listen. For more about the contest, click here.
ONLINE READING GUIDE
As a complement to this wonderful book, we have gathered a collection of resources online. Don't miss the videos, podcasts, Twitter feeds and more on our ASR Reading Guide.
Emmy-nominated political comedian W. Kamau Bell visited Berkshire to present his show, The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in about an Hour. The show was part of the School's 2016 All-School Read program, which focused on Between The World and Me by award-winning author Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Shiza Shahid, CEO and co-founder of the Malala Fund, addressed the Berkshire community during 2014's All-School Read program. A graduate of Stanford University, Shiza is the co-founder and CEO of the Malala Fund, an organization that works to empower girls through education.
Author Tracy Kidder's Strength in What Remains explores the journey of Deogratias "Deo" Niyizonkiza through the horrors of civil war and genocide in his native Burundi, to medical school and a life of healing. Niyizonkiza, founder of Village Health Works, visited the school for the inaugural All-School Read program in 2013.