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'The Great American Read' returns to AETN Sept. 11

Posted 07 Sep 2018

"The Great American Read" will return to the Arkansas Educational Television Network Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 7 p.m. Hosted by television personality and journalist Meredith Vieira, "The Great American Read" is an eight-part series and multiplatform reading initiative that shines a national spotlight on the importance of reading. Throughout the summer, viewers have been encouraged to read as many books as possible and vote on their favorite works of fiction as part of the most expansive national celebration of books and reading ever created.

To date, almost 2 million votes have been cast in conjunction with "The Great American Read." Voting opened with the two-hour premiere episode on May 22 and has continued throughout the summer, leading up to the grand finale on Oct. 23. Viewers are currently able to vote for their favorite titles at, through hashtag voting via Facebook and Twitter, and through SMS texting using the dedicated book hashtag. In the fall, viewers will also be able to cast their vote toll-free by phone.

"The Great American Read" will air on the following Tuesday nights:

The full, comprehensive book list that includes a checklist and rating system for each book is available for download at The website features Arkansas authors, celebrities, teachers, kids and others sharing their favorite books. Also available is a downloadable bookmark. Arkansans are encouraged to participate in Book It! – a story share project to share one's favorite book and why in 10 seconds or less.

AETN received a grant for $7,500 from WETA to complete outreach and engagement activities around "The Great American Read." AETN attended the Central Arkansas Library System Literary Festival and the Eureka Springs Books in Bloom Literary Festival, interviewing authors and attendees and recording sessions.

Charleston Public Library and Berryville Public Library received grants from the American Library Association in conjunction with "The Great American Read." They were two of only 50 recipients nationwide. They, along with many other libraries in the state, have encouraged Arkansans to read books from the list of 100 and vote by providing copies of the books in dedicated displays.

Funding for "The Great American Read" is provided by The Anne Ray Foundation and PBS. In addition, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) has provided grants, in partnership with PBS, to public media stations across the country to create local content and host screenings and forums to encourage summer reading and participation in the initiative.

"The Great American Read" is a production of Nutopia for PBS.

PBS, with nearly 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 90 million people through television and 30 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances.

The Arkansas Educational Television Network is Arkansas's only statewide public media network, which enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. AETN delivers local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers through the distinct channels AETN PBS, AETN Create, AETN PBS KIDS, AETN World and AETN AIRS on SAP. Audiences can also watch on several digital platforms, and members with AETN Passport have extended on-demand access to a rich library of public television programming. AETN depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the state of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. Additional information is available at AETN is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro) and KETZ (El Dorado).