More than the movies Highlighting the role of women

June 19th, 2015 9:17 am - updated: 9:17 am.

First Posted: 2/21/2014

“Education is the difference between life and death.” These are the words Suzanne Fisher Staples used to describe the importance of literacy in Afghanistan and Pakistan at our recent Wyoming County Reads discussion, and they still haunt me. Do you know the best way to increase literacy in Pakistan and Afghanistan? Based on Suzanne’s work with a literacy project in Afghanistan and Pakistan, they found that educating women ensures that their children and husbands learn how to read. I find that fascinating. Her talk also got me thinking about how much I take the accessibility to education and other opportunities here in the United States for granted.

We would like to thank Suzanne for sharing her experiences in Afghanistan and Pakistan with us. Through her stories, I gained a better understanding of the beauty of those countries and the kindness of their people, as well as the turbulence that exists there.

Dr. Len Gougeon, Distinguished Professor of American Literature at University of Scranton, is scheduled to lead our Wyoming County Reads discussion on Feb. 26 at 7 p.m.

His talk will be on “The Scarlet Letter” focusing on the character of “Hester Prynne: Adulterer, Artist, Angel”. We can’t wait to gain some of his insight into this great piece of literature. We hope to see you there.

Wyoming County Reads discussions will be held on Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. through March 12 at the Tunkhannock Public Library. This year’s Wyoming County Reads program will culminate with a Women’s Forum: Violence Against Women in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

I sometimes think we view violence against and control of women as a problem that took place long ago or in lands far away as portrayed in the books “The Scarlet Letter” and “A Thousand Splendid Suns”, but it isn’t. This forum will be a great opportunity for our panel members to discuss this problem as it relates to our region and to provide the public with an opportunity to ask questions and learn about available resources.

It will be held at the Dietrich Theater on Sunday, March 16 at 3 p.m. and admission is free. During this important event, our panel members will answer questions including: Why do we have a culture of violence especially against women? Do laws protect women? What are the issues law enforcement officers face? What can you do to help someone you know is abused? Answering these questions will be panel members: Wyoming County’s District Attorney, Jeff Mitchell; Wyoming County’s Assistant District Attorney, Gerald Idec; Janet MacKay and Patrick Rushton of the Victim’s Resource Center in Wyoming County; and Laurel Hasenzahl, Wyoming County Juvenile Probation Officer. Marnie Hiester-Idec, Professor of Psychology at Misericordia University will moderate the forum.

All are welcome to attend and reservations are not necessary but can be made by calling the Dietrich Theater at 570-996-1500.

As you can see, the Dietrich is so much more than the movies!