Updated COVID Protocols

Effective January 1, 2022, proof of vaccination is required for all faculty, staff and students taking on-campus classes or accessing on-campus services. More information, including specifics for prospective students and visitors, is available at dccc.edu/vaccine-info. Face masks are required in all indoor facilities.

Delaware County Community College, Serving Delaware and Chester Counties

College-Wide Reading Program

College-Wide Reading

The College-Wide Reading Program is an initiative intended to provide a common reading that encourages thought, discussion, and collaboration at Delaware County Community College. All members of the College community are invited to nominate books for the program and to participate in related activities throughout the academic year.

2021-2022 Book

About Us book cover The College-Wide Reading Committee is excited to announce that the 2021-2022 book choice for the theme of Race and Race Relations in the United States is Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. This "memoir-in-verse" was first published in 2014, and it quickly earned Woodson a number of awards, including the National Book Award. It is available in a variety of affordable formats: paperback, Kindle, hardcover, and audiobook. The book itself includes a multitude of narrative and image-rich poems that stitch together the story of Woodson's childhood in the 1960s and 1970s, as her family moved from Ohio to South Carolina to Brooklyn.

Brown Girl Dreaming captures the young poet's burgeoning identity as a writer, her complex search for the meaning and feeling of "home," and her deep reverence for the value of family. It also charts the earliest moments of her political awakening, as she confronts the injustices of segregated American life, the ugliness of racism, and the hope inspired by those who courageously fight for justice. Ultimately Woodson shows us the power in finding one's voice, telling one's story, and speaking out for a better world.   

Upcoming Events

"Telling One's Story"
Tuesday, February 8, 6:30 p.m.
Everyone has a story to tell, but figuring out the best way to share your own story can be challenging. Join this virtual discussion of DCCC faculty and published authors as they talk about the art of writing from personal experience. Professors Liz Gray, Stacy Cartledge, Sabatino Mangini, and Paul Pat will share stories and advice from their lives as writers and writing teachers. Whether you like to write poetry, autobiographical fiction, creative nonfiction, or any other type of personal writing, you'll be able to learn a lot from these writers that you'll be able to apply to your own storytelling. (Connect via Zoom; Meeting ID: 976 6823 8172; Passcode: 986115)

Online Screening and Discussion of "Amend" (Episode 3)
Tuesday, February 22, 7 p.m.
In honor of Black History Month, the College-Wide Reading Program will host a screening and discussion of episode 3 of the Netflix docuseries "Amend," narrated by Will Smith. This particular episode examines the importance of Civil Rights activism in the 1950s and 1960s aimed at eliminating the legalized segregation of the Jim Crow era. It provides excellent historical context for the era in which Jacqueline Woodson's "Brown Girl Dreaming" is set. Join via Zoom to watch the episode and participate in the discussion; Meeting ID: 926 7838 5056; Passcode: 387901

Special Guest: Glory Edim
Tuesday, April 5, 11 a.m.
The College-Wide Reading Program and the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are excited to host Glory Edim, the founder of the Well-Read Black Girl book club and literary festival. Glory will discuss the story and mission behind her book club. A more interactive workshop for writers will follow her talk, and all are welcomed to participate! Information about how to register for this event will be forthcoming!

Poetry Contest
Tuesday, April 12
Win up to $250 by reading or performing your original poetry for the Edith Garlow Memorial Spoken Word Poetry Contest. More information about how to register for this event and the guidelines for participation will be forthcoming, but be sure to mark your calendar now!

Past Events

About the Program

The goals of the program include:

  • Promoting a habit of reading
  • Encouraging the exploration of diverse experiences and perspectives
  • Providing a common discussion point for all members of the College community
Titles selected meet the minimum standards listed below.
  • Readable by our entire population, including developmental and ESL students
  • Available in paperback
  • Cross-disciplinary appeal
  • Ability to be incorporated into curricular and extracurricular activities
  • Presents diverse or unique perspective

Nomination Process

Students, faculty, staff, and all other college community members are invited to nominate books for future College-Wide Reading Programs. Once the particular year’s theme is announced, we invite you to nominate any and all titles you feel would lend themselves to positive college-wide reading, discussion and programming.


The College wide reading program began as the brainchild of the Reading department in the spring semester of 2003. James McBride spoke on campus at the request of faculty who were teaching his memoir The Color of Water. After the success of the author’s visit, Professor Lisa Barnes worked with fellow Reading Professors Dianne Shames, Sandy Connelly and Valerie Schantz to expand the reach of the program.

The first college-wide book selection was The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri (chosen by a committee of librarians, the Reading department, and English faculty volunteers). This book ran from spring 2004 to fall 2004. Discussion groups were led by members of faculty and staff from various departments and events began around the book, including serving the food mentioned in the book at a small reception. Swarup Raman gave a seminar on issues of immigration raised in Lahiri’s book.

For the next year’s pick, the program moved to following the academic year (to facilitate faculty adoption). The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime was chosen for the fall semester of 2005 through spring 2006. This year saw the first larger scale "tie-in" events co-sponsored by the Delaware County Intermediate Unit. Math Professors Dotty Russo and Jill Spellina delivered a seminar on the importance of numbers in the book. Then-Director of the Office of Disability Services, Ann Binder, spoke about students with learning differences and the program hosted an essay competition.

Things Fall Apart was selected in 2006-2007; at this point, librarians began to prepare Library Guides for the program (available via the links above). Flags of Our Fathers began in partnership with the Delaware County Library System (DCLS) in 2007-2008.

With Courage and Cloth and Having Our Say were chosen for 2008-2009. There was an additional author visit by Chris Bohjalian (who wrote Skeletons at the Feast) as a tie-in appearance sponsored by a Big Read grant from the National Endowment for the Arts as part of the partnership with DCLS.

The Glass Castle was chosen as the 2010-2011 choice. Over the years, the program has evolved and its name has changed from the One-Book One-College program to its current name, the College-Wide Reading Program. Titles were not selected in 2009-10 or 2014-15.

The College-wide Reading Program is now housed under the Institutional Diversity Committee. The current Faculty Fellow for College-Wide Reading is Professor Matthew Brophy. Past fellows include Professor Liz Gray, Tina Shaffer of The Virginia M. Carter Center for Excellence in Teaching, and Librarian Ellie Goldberg.


2020-2021About Us book cover
About Us: Essays from the Disability Series of the New York Times
Edited by Peter Catapano and Rosemarie Garland-Thomson

Secret History of Wonder Woman cover

The Secret History of Wonder Woman
Jill Lepore

Stuffed and Starved cover

Stuffed and Starved
By Raj Patel

Just Mercy cover

Just Mercy
By Bryan Stephenson

Butterfly Boy cover

Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa
by Rigoberto González 

Garbology book cover

by Edward Humes

Water by the Spoonful book cover

Water by the Spoonful 
by Quiara Alegria Hudes

Girl In Translation book cover

Girl in Translation 
by Jean Kwok


2011-2012: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot 
2010-2011: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls 
2008-2009: With Courage and Cloth by Ann Bausum and Having Our Say by Sarah L. Delany, A. Elizabeth Delany and Amy Hill Hearth
2007-2008: Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley (with Ron Powers)
2006-2007: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe