OCTC announces award winning author visit - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

OCTC announces award winning author visit

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Reyna Grande. (Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia, via Larry D. Moore) Reyna Grande. (Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia, via Larry D. Moore)
OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE) -

Owensboro Community and Technical College and Perdue Farms are pleased to announce award-winning author Reyna Grande will visit Owensboro on March 26.

Reyna Grande is the author of Across a Hundred Mountains, the focus of OCTC's Common Reading for the spring semester. The novel is a moving story of a Mexican girl and her immigration to the United States. Students across campus have read the book, and the college has hosted numerous events related to Hispanic culture.

Perdue Farms, through a $5,000 grant funded through the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation, is sponsoring Grande's appearance on campus and related activities. The author will speak 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, at Blandford Hall in the Humanities Building. She will be available to answer questions and sign books following her lecture. The public is invited to attend.

"We are honored to present this grant on behalf of Perdue and the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation in support of Owensboro Community and Technical College's Common Reading program," said Bill Hetherington, executive director of the Foundation the charitable giving arm of Perdue. "We are pleased to partner with them in helping provide improved educational opportunities for students and the community."

Grande is an award-winning writer. Across a Hundred Mountains is her first novel, and Dancing with Butterflies is her second. Both have received international acclaim. The Distance Between Us, her third book, is a memoir about her life before and after illegally immigrating to the United States.

Grande was 2 when her father left for the U.S. to find work. Her mother followed her father north soon after, leaving Grande and her siblings behind in Mexico. At age 9, she entered the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant. She went on to become the first person in her family to graduate from college.

Immigration is a hotly debated issue across the country. By selecting this novel, organizers hope to increase understanding of the issue. Each semester a book is selected as OCTC's Common Reading, with the idea that all who read the material will develop common ground for new discussions and mutual interests.

OCTC was one of six community colleges in the country to receive a $200,000 Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support the Common Reading and other activities. The OCTC Foundation continues to raise money to match that grant with local and state dollars, working toward a goal of creating a $1 million endowment for the humanities.

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