New York State High School Students


This year, nearly 5,000 students from 67 high schools in 18 New York counties and New York City will read Chinua Achebe's masterful novel Things Fall Apart as part of a statewide pilot program coordinated through Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) and the New Student Reading Project at Cornell.

The pilot project reaches high schools from the counties of Erie to Suffolk and Jefferson to Westchester. Twenty schools in Nassau County will participate, the largest number in any county. At Kildonan, a private high school for dyslexic students in Dutchess County, 15 compact disc recordings of Achebe's novel have been prepared. In Schuyler the project has inspired the founding of an advanced readers club for students who wish to participate. County-based cooperative extension educators are facilitating the outreach efforts with their local high schools.

Local students will be given the opportunity to participate in on-campus events related to the New Student Reading Project. The big event at Cornell will be a discussion of Things Fall Apart in Barton Hall on the Cornell University Campus in Ithaca on Sunday, August 21st from 3:30-5:00. The event will be broadcast live locally and a video of the discussion will be available soon after the event.

Teachers and association staff may also wish to participate on one of two orientation sessions in August that will occur the week prior to the Barton Hall discussion. These orientation sessions are for volunteer faculty and staff who are participating in the New Student Reading Project. Registration is not required.

Visiting Ithaca and Cornell University

Accommodations while in Ithaca (note that CCE will not be coordinating /facilitating accomodations)

News and Events about The New Student Book Project

Other Cornell Events (times for campus tours are listed on the events calendar for each day)

Cornell Cooperative Extension


Things Fall Apart

"The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart." (p. 176)

Broken mask

2005 New Student Reading Project Cornell University