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Centre County Reads Kickoff Event Will Benefit Community Members in Need

by on February 07, 2018 5:00 AM

This year’s Centre County Reads selection is “Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist,” and the Centre County Reads Kickoff event on Saturday will be showing a lot of heart.

Centre County Library and Historical Museum, 200 N. Allegheny St. in Bellefonte, hosts the kickoff event, a Knit-A-Thon that will help warm the community. Visitors can join area knitting clubs to make scarves for Housing Transition, Inc. Materials are provided, and all ages and experience levels are welcome. The event is from noon to 3 p.m. A finger knitting class for tweens and teens will be held at 1 p.m.

Knitting and other fiber crafts have a long history with activism for social change. They have been used in the U.S., Canada and England to warm heads of newborns, the homeless and the elderly. Knitting has been used prominently in recent protest movements, including women’s marches and fighting racial injustice.

This event is just the first of several scheduled events for this year’s Centre County Reads program.

“Your Heart is a Muscle The Size of a Fist” is the acclaimed debut novel by State High and Penn State alumnus Sunil Yapa, who will visit  Freeman Auditorium in the HUB-Robeson Cultural Center on March 21. Yapa’s novel weaves the story of the 1999 Seattle World Trade Organization protests through a variety of perspectives.

Book discussion groups will meet in February and March at various locations (See the full list here). On Tuesday, Feb. 27, a roundtable discussion on “What is Activist Literature?” will be held from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Paterno Library’s Main Assembly Room.

The Center for American Literary Studies and the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts are sponsoring The Art of Protest Writing and Art Contests. For complete rules and information on how to enter, visit

Centre County Reads started in 2003 with “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The project encourages county residents of all ages to explore the human condition and community issues by reading and discussing the same book. Past selections include “A Walk in the Woods,” “The Book Thief,” “Beautiful Ruins” and last year’s “Under a Painted Sky.” 

Centre County Reads is coordinated by the Center for American Literary Studies, Centre County Library and Historical Museum, Pennsylvania Center for the Book, Schlow Centre Region Library, and the school districts of State College, Philipsburg-Osceola, Penns Valley, and Bellefonte. Partners for 2018 are Barnes & Noble, Schlow Library Foundation, and the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.

For more information on Sunil Yapa’s visit and other events visit

David Pencek is communications manager for Schlow Centre Region Library.

David Pencek is communications manager for Schlow Centre Region Library. He can be reached at [email protected]
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