March 09, 2009, SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In an effort to encourage and inspire youth to read and use the power of their voice, Grammy® winner, actor and children’s author Common, launches the first national online book club at http://www.commongroundfoundation.org/thecorner.html. The Corner book club is an interactive way for 8th-12th grade students to learn and to talk about reading materials that are relevant to their life.
Each month, The Corner educational team chooses a book-of-the-month that conveys messages of tolerance, compassion and non-violent expressions of achieving social justice. Through lively discussions about the world of books through “Let’s Talk,” The Corner book club blog, members are encouraged to discuss, debate, critique, and comment on the selected material. A monthly spotlight of celebrity interviews focus on artists’ favorite books, why reading is important to them and issues that teens face today. The questions come right from The Corner youth members. In addition, members have the opportunity to participate in a live online chat with the author of the monthly book selection, which further strengthens relationship between young people and reading.
Common explains, “My mom was a teacher, and growing up she always stressed the importance of education. So when I look back it’s not a surprise for me to use words as a tool to make change, and to inspire children for the future.”
For March, War Child by Emmanuel Jal, is the featured “book-of-the-month”. War Child is the true story of Emmanuel Jal’s experiences as a child soldier in Sudan, before being rescued by a British aid worker, and his near-miraculous rise to international stardom as an African hip-hop artist. The book was released by St. Martin’s Press in February 2009 and Jal’s interview can be read in Chloe’s Corner on The Corner website.The Corner book club reaches out to parents, educators, librarians and youth providers, through a dedicated email list where ideas and suggestions can be submitted and discussed in regards to reading promotions, ideas and books.
The Common Ground Foundation continues to show support through partnerships, events and programs reaching many dynamic groups. Recent initiatives have included the recipient of Cartier’s LOVE Charity program; the Chicago White Sox’s – Common Ground Foundation day at Cellular Field; the Emmy-award nominated “A Minute” campaign, and the Common and Friends “Start the Show and Bowl” fundraiser in Chicago that featured Will.i.am, Lupe Fiasco, The Roots, Talib Kweli, Bilal and many other artists.