‘Niagara Reads’ Escape from Slavery this Fall

For the second time, Niagara University has selected Francis Bok’s Escape from Slavery: The True Story of My Ten Years in Captivity and My Journey to Freedom in America for the freshman reading program, Niagara Reads 2010. The university will give copies of the book to new students during their Freshman Welcome events this summer.

The book will be central to the curriculum in “First Year Niagara,” a semester-long freshmen symposium that covers the university’s mission, academic honesty, time management, career exploration, and self evaluation. However, all faculty members are encouraged to adopt the Niagara Reads title in various courses at all levels.  Instructors at NU have incorporated previous common reading books and Niagara Reads programming into courses in composition, business communication, religion, and others!

The program includes a service learning element, an essay contest, and other campus activities.  Through Niagara Reads, the university strives to:

  • provide freshmen with a common experience that is intellectually stimulating
  • set the tone for serious college work
  • convey the message that Niagara University is a place where reading and the exchange of ideas are important
  • encourage students to develop the habit of regular reading for pleasure
  • transmit the values of Niagara University

Escape from Slavery was very well received when it was adopted for the first time in 2006, and was chosen again for this year’s program by a committee of faculty members, staff and students. Francis Bok, who has spoken on campus a couple of times in the past, will address a whole new group of students and faculty in September 2010.

Previously, Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed and All But My Life by Gerda Weissmann Klein have both been Niagara Reads books.

Escape from Slavery • St. Martin’s Griffin • 304 pages