» By Corey Circello
The Peay Read is an event based around a book chosen by the Peay Read Committee, which is made up of professors, staff and various members of the Clarksville community.
“The Peay Read takes a full year to get set up. We, as the committee, sit down and decide on a book that we enjoy and that will teach the students a valuable lesson while they are reading the book,” Dixie Dennis, associate-provost, dean and chair of the Peay Read Committee, said.
“We all loved the book and what it told our students, and after we chose [“The Other Wes Moore”], we contacted the organization to see if he, Wes Moore, was available for the Peay Read. And to our joy, he was.”
During the meet-and-greet, Wes Moore, students and the community got to mingle and get to know each other a little bit more.
“‘The Other Wes Moore’ was a wonderful book to read,” first year nursing major Tierra Lebeauf said. “It was so personal and so easy to relate to. There are several life lessons and inspirational moments in the book.
The meet-and-greet was great. He answered all the questions we had and took pictures with everyone, which was my favorite part.”
Also during the meeting, Moore talked about his motivations in writing the book.
“What was the point of writing the book? It’s a much larger call to action. The point that you (college students) came here to make a difference in society. You cannot blame society for what is going wrong today.”
He also said if all students leave with after college is a diploma, they missed the whole point.
“If the pinnacle of your life was walking across the graduation stage at APSU, you would not have got a packet, you would have only got a letter, and you probably would not have been allowed through the gates,” Moore said. “All our accomplishments mean nothing if we are the only ones affected by them.”
Moore started the writing process about two years before the book was published. He had ideas relating to the book about 10 years before it was written and was initially opposed to the idea of writing the book.
“It’s very humbling to speak in front of such a large audience that have read my book,” Moore said.
“I speak at places like this relatively often, but I choose where I go. I have a day job, but when I get a call from a college, I try to go, because this is the time when you can start to make a difference in your life and the lives of others around you. It’s when my book makes a huge impact.”
He also said he loved the Peay Read. He wasn’t initially sure what it actually was, but was won over after he learned more about it.
“It is a common bond that all of the freshmen at APSU will share from now on. It’s something they will never forget,” Moore said.
Another point of his book was that Moore “wanted to force people to pull back the onion on this story. The world is full of Wes Moores.
They are in our communities, our schools, our classrooms and sometimes our homes. Some of them are only one step away from becoming ‘The Other Wes Moore.’”