This year’s One Book/One Community selection committee has identified The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. William Kamkwamba wrote it more than a decade ago and it was made into a movie which premiered at Sundance in January this year.
The Park City Education Foundation works closely with the High School Administration to identify the One Book/One Community choice. Associate Director of the Park City Education Foundation, Jen Billows has an overview.
“It’s a pretty incredible story of a kid in Malawi which is one of the poorest countries in the world. Only two percent of the people in Malawi have electricity or running water. And so, he is a very smart kid and looking through old science books, in spite of people calling him crazy, he puts together a windmill to bring electricity to his village.”
She says the author, William Kamkwamba’s account of his project can offer inspiration for lots of kids in Park City.
“Roger Arbabi at the high school said, boy I’d love for you guys to do this book and it could tie into PC CAPS which has a lot of project-based learning. So, kind of looking at the book not just from purely an english or writing perspective but kids putting their thoughts together and making real change in the world.”
The book is not required summer reading for high school students but there will be activities happening in the schools and community. Billows says it’s an easy read and the book can be found at Dolly’s and at the Park City Library.
“The Social Equity Book Club, Diego Zagarra, runs that, is doing it for their book of that month. Then, they’ll be meeting to discuss it before the community lecture. The libraries are having different things. I think the Summit County Library, on the 7th, is having a day, where you can bring all ages of kids in and build windmills and have all kinds of projects going on. There is a children’s version of the book so younger kids can read it as well.”
There is a free lecture on October 9th at the Jim Santy auditorium with the author, William Kamkwamba.
Sundance is showing the movie in Coalville next week, on the 17th, at The Ledges Event Center. It’s free and part of their summer film series. It is an outside screening and will start at dusk.