Encore presents One Book, One Community

San Juan College English Professor Traci HalesVass will offer a class to discuss "We Are Called to Rise" by Laura McBride, the selection of this year's One Book, One Community program

San Juan College Community Learning Center
San Juan College's One Book, One Community program, which is now in its seventh year, has featured books on a variety of topics. This year's selection is "We are Called to Rise" by Laura McBride (not pictured).

FARMINGTON — "The community that reads a book together, closes it in greater harmony." This is the motto of San Juan College’s One Book, One Community program, explains Traci HalesVass, an English professor.

Through Encore: The Senior College at San Juan College, HalesVass will offer a class beginning Oct. 4 to discuss this year’s One Book, One Community selection, "We Are Called to Rise" by Laura McBride. The class is designed for learners 50 and older but open to students 18 and older.

San Juan College's One Book, One Community program has chosen "We are Called to Rise" by Laura McBride as this year's selection.

"One Book, One Community is about building bridges between community and the college," said HalesVass. "Students can read the same book their parents are reading and have conversations about the same issues."

The One Book, One Community program at San Juan College began in 2010, and each year a selection committee reviews suggested works.

"We choose books based on many different criteria, and one of those is the inclusion of current controversial issues," said HalesVass. "In this year’s book, issues include Muslim immigrants, abandoned children, police shootings, PTSD and veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan."

McBride will visit San Juan College at the end of October, and the Encore class will culminate in a reserved section at her presentation and book signing.

"The novel is an outstanding read on its own," said Liesl Dees, director of the Encore program. "The class is intended to deepen participants’ connection with the novel and connect our community through a shared book experience — perfect for a book club or readers looking to connect with others."

Dees adds: "A quote from Redbook Magazine about the novel says 'Your heart will break … then soar.' I found myself in tears when reading but the themes of the novel related to charity and bravery have inspired my daily life."

The Encore class will meet from 11 a.m. to 12:30 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays from Oct. 4 through 27.

"We hope that some working individuals might be able to take a long lunch hour for the class, and that retirees can work this around other commitments," Dees said.

For more information on this and other fall Encore classes, visit or call San Juan College’s Community Learning Center at 505-566-3214.