News Archive

Orphan Train Selected WKCTCs One Book, One Campus, One Community Read

For the seventy-five years between 1854 and 1929, an estimated 250,000 orphaned, abandoned, and homeless children were placed with families throughout the United States and Canada during the Orphan Train Movement, according to the National Orphan Train Complex.

This years One Book, One Campus, One Community Read of New York Times best-selling author, Christina Baker Klines, Orphan Train, opens the door to the story of the children and teenagers being sent on orphan trains in hopes of finding a better way of life.

We have found that many people today have never heard about the orphan trains or the thousands of children that left behind devastating circumstances and traveled to uncertain futures, said Gail Robinson-Butler, Clemens Fine Arts Center director. We want to change that with this years One Book Read of Orphan Train a remarkable story of how to face the past, deal with the present, and look toward the future.

The book centers on Vivian Daly, a young Irish immigrant who was orphaned in New York City and boarded a train to the Midwest, changing her life forever. During this vulnerable time, Vivian was forced to learn new life skills, and sewing was near the top of the list.

To share this aspect of the book, we are presenting Sewing with Angie York as our first One Book event, said Butler. York will visit the WKCTC campus to teach participants the techniques of creating hand-embroidered greeting cards and yo-yo quilt blocks. The embroidered class begins at 2 p.m. and the quilt class begins at 6 p.m. Both classes, which are free and open to the public, will be held in the Emerging Technology Center, Room 140.

Later in life, Vivian meets 17-year-old Molly Ayer who is close to aging out of the foster care system - something Vivian knows all too well. Molly helping the elderly Vivian clean out her attic that is packed with possessions and memories from the past is the only thing keeping Molly out of trouble in the juvenile system. Vivian and Molly learn they arent as different as they seem to be; they learn about friendship and second chances.

The One Book, One Campus, One Community Read project is a community wide effort to encourage reading throughout the community with the hope of improving regional literacy rates. The project encourages the community, area school districts, and colleges to read the same book and come together to discuss it in a variety of settings.

Future One Book events, to create awareness of the read and the book, will be announced in the months prior to the project finale when Christina Baker Kline will visit the WKCTC campus on March 31 and April 1, 2015. For more information about Klines visit, Orphan Train, and the One Book, One Campus, One Community Read, visit //Student_Life/OneBook.aspx.