One week ago, The Big Read Dearborn officially launched with a kickoff held at The Henry Ford. Over 700 people joined the festivities to kick off Dearborn’s 10-week literary adventure.
Among the attendees were several students from Dearborn Public Schools who worked on creating a special tabloid version of The Call of the Wild. Kickoff guests had an opportunity to view a display of original artwork that the students created for the tabloid.
Free copies of The Call of the Wild were distributed, along with the tabloid version created specifically for The Big Read Dearborn. Guests who signed up for Big Read email updates were entered into a raffle for free memberships to The Henry Ford, courtesy of Leader of the Pack sponsor DFCU Financial.
In the Anderson Theater, guests learned about the background and significance of The Big Read Dearborn from Mayor John B. O’Reilly, Jr. and representatives from the Dearborn Public Library, The Henry Ford, and DFCU Financial. The speeches led into a dramatic reading from The Call of the Wild and a screening of Charlie Chaplin’s 1925 film The Gold Rush.
In the Prechter Promenade, live piano music from the time period of the Klondike Gold Rush filled the hall as guests took part in activities that helped them learn more about the historical setting of The Call of the Wild. Representatives from the Boy Scouts brought their cold-weather camping gear to show what life might have been like for gold prospectors in the Klondike. Guests also had the opportunity to don a fur coat and hat like a Klondike gold prospector and snap photos against a wintry backdrop. Many kids (and adults) participated in a popular make-and-take activity that involved making a coaster featuring an image of Jack London’s wolf bookplate, held in the collections of The Henry Ford.
You can read more about the kickoff in two great articles by the Dearborn Press & Guide and AAUW Dearborn.