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African American boy reading from paper in classroom

Explore “The Right to Read” with Documentary, Panel Discussion at BCCC

Free film screening at 7 p.m. September 21 will be followed by a Q&A panel with experts on the reading crisis in America as a civil rights issue. More than one-third of fourth graders in the United States read at a “below basic” level, according to a recent report by the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Even more alarming, more than half of Black, Hispanic, and Native American fourth graders score “below basic” on reading tests, the report found. “What good is winning the right to vote if we can’t even read the ballot?” asks NAACP activist Kareem Weaver in the “The Right to Read.” The 2023 documentary by Jenny Mackenzie and executive produced by “Reading Rainbow” host LeVar Burton addresses the literacy crisis as the greatest civil rights issue of our time. Bucks County Community College invites the public to a free screening of “The Right to Read” at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 21, at the Newtown Campus. The documentary will be followed by a panel discussion featuring three educators and activists. The following panelists will share their expertise on the topic after the screening. Brooks Imel, Ph.D., is an independent educational consultant who works with neurodiverse students as an admissions counselor and executive function coach. His doctoral research focused on the cognitive processes involved in reading, and how comprehension differs when students read from screens versus paper. Kevin E. Leven is co-leader of the Bucks County Anti-Racism Coalition, a nonprofit charity organization dedicated to educating, informing, and taking action on matters of racial justice. He is also a columnist for the Bucks County Beacon online publication, where he regularly contributes to the “Race Matters” monthly op-ed column.   Lynne B. Millard is Principal Leadership Coach and Special Advisor of School Impact with the School District of Philadelphia. In this dual role, the veteran educator develops and coaches new school leaders, and serves as a liaison between department leaders, key stakeholders, and the Deputy Superintendent. “The Right to Read” documentary and discussion is sponsored by the College’s Office of the Provost, Bucks Wellness, DEI Programs, Library, and Social & Behavioral Science Department. Learn more about the film on The Right to Read website. The free event takes place in the Zlock Performing Arts Center, located in the Gateway Center building on the Newtown campus at 275 Swamp Rd., Newtown, Pa., 18940. There is ample free parking. “The Right to Read” is among several educational forums at Bucks County Community College to encourage dialog on issues surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion. To learn more, visit the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion page or contact
Wordsmiths Fall 2023

BCCC’s Wordsmiths Reading Series Continues September 22

 The Wordsmiths Reading Series, one of the longest-running cultural events at Newtown-based Bucks County Community College, continues its proud tradition of live readings with three exciting gatherings for the fall 2023 season. On Friday, September 22, at 7:30 p.m., poets Joanna Fuhrman and Lynn Levin will read selected poems in room 142 of the historic Tyler Hall on the Newtown campus. Fuhrman, an assistant teaching professor in creative writing at Rutgers University, is the author of six books of poetry, most recently To a New Era (Hanging Loose Press, 2021). Fuhrman’s next book Data Mind, a collection of prose poems about the internet, is forthcoming from Curbstone/ Northwestern University Press in 2024. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming on The Slowdown podcast and in The Pushcart Prize Anthology and Best American Poetry 2023. Last year, Fuhrman became a co-editor of Hanging Loose Press after publishing with them since she was a teenager. Levin, a poet and writer, is the author of nine books, most recently House Parties (Spuyten Duyvil), her debut collection of short fiction. Philadelphia Magazine calls the stories “vivid, funny, and quietly powerful” and says, “House Parties may break your heart, but it’ll never do it the same way twice.” A Bucks County poet laureate and winner of the Bucks County Short Fiction Contest, Levin has published stories, poems, essays, and translations in Valparaiso Fiction Review, Elm Leaves Journal, Cleaver, Boulevard, Southwest Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Mandorla, and other places. She lives in Southampton, Pennsylvania and teaches at Drexel University. The next reading in the fall series, at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 20, will feature poets Patricia Smith and Hayden Saunier. The final reading for the fall comes on Sunday, November 12, at 1 p.m. when poet Courtney Bambrick and the still-to-be-chosen 2023 Bucks County Poet Laureate will read selected works. Dr. Ethel Rackin, a Language and Literature professor at the College, is the director of the Wordsmiths Reading Series and Poet Laureate Program. Dr. Rackin has been organizing these public collaborations since 2010, shortly after she began her teaching career at Bucks. The first Wordsmiths reading was in the 1960s, and featured Allen Ginsburg strumming on his guitar, and chanting verses to the audience as they swayed sitting on top of cushions on the floor. Since then, the series has featured dozens of outstanding and respected poets over the years. In recent years, the series has also featured renowned fiction writers. Poets featured in the series have won a host of awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book award, and the PEN Literary Award. For more information on the Wordsmiths Reading Series, contact Dr. Rackin at

Bucks County Short Fiction Contest is Open for Entries

 The Fall 2023 Bucks County Short Fiction Contest is open for entries from Bucks County residents who are 18 or older and are not employees of Bucks County Community College. The deadline for submissions is 12 p.m. on Thursday, October 19, 2023. The top three winners will receive gift cards of $200, $100, and $50, and will share their work at a celebratory reading in November with this fall’s final judge, writer Emma Copley Eisenberg, attending. Stories must be previously unpublished, including in blogs and online platforms, and must be submitted online. Complete rules and the submissions link are available on the Bucks County Short Fiction Contest page. Eisenberg’s first book, “The Third Rainbow Girl: The Long Life of a Double Murder in Appalachia,” is a work of hybrid nonfiction that mixes memoir, cultural criticism, and reporting. It was named a New York Times Notable Book and Editor’s Choice of 2020. Her debut novel, “Housemates,” will be released by Hogarth Books, a division of Random House, in June of 2024. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Wesleyan University, and has taught creative writing at Bryn Mawr College, Temple University, and the University of Virginia, where she received her MFA in fiction. Raised in New York City, she lives in Philadelphia, where she co-founded and now serves on the board of Blue Stoop, a community hub for the literary arts. The Bucks County Short Fiction Contest receives funding and administrative support from the Department of Language and Literature at Bucks County Community College. For further information, contact the contest director, Professor Elizabeth Luciano, at

Center for Advanced Technologies

Your Career Begins at Bucks

The brand-new state-of-the-art Center for Advanced Technologies (CAT) has been designed to ignite a spark in Bucks County and the surrounding areas. Located on the Epstein Campus at Lower Bucks in Bristol Township, the Center houses in-demand advanced manufacturing training and workforce programs.