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Read with Cottey

Read with Cottey is a course based on the non-fiction book, The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil. The Girl Who Smiled Beads is a 2018 memoir of Wamariya’s experiences as a Rwandan refugee. It explores her six-year migration through various refugee camps in Africa as a child, as well as her eventual journey to the US, showing how the trauma of her refugee years continues to shape her life even as a young adult. 

As a compelling and perspective-broadening text, The Girl Who Smiled Beads was chosen as the common reader for all students entering Cottey in fall 2021 because it had the potential to guide the leaders, the socially responsible and the globally aware citizens that all Cottey students are destined to become.

Registration Opens December 7th

The cost of this course is $125.

Praise for The Girl Who Smiled Beads

Winner of the 2019 ALA/YALSA Alex Award

Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of 2018

Glamour Best Book of 2018

Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2018

Real Simple Best Book of 2018

“Sharp, moving . . . Wamariya and her co-author, Elizabeth Weil . . . describe Wamariya’s idyllic early childhood in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, and the madness that followed with an analytic eye and, at times, a lyrical honesty. . . . Wamariya is piercing about her alienation in America and her effort to combat the perception that she is an exotic figure, to be pitied or dismissed. . . . Wamariya tells her own story with feeling, in vivid prose. She has remade herself, as she explains was necessary to do, on her own terms.”—Alexis Okeowo, New York Times Book Review

“Like Ishmael Beah’s A Long Way Gone, on being a boy soldier in Sierra Leone, or Joseph Kim’s Under the Same Sky, on escaping North Korea, The Girl Who Smiled Beads is at once terrifying and life-affirming. And like those memoirs, it painstakingly describes the human cost of war.”—Washington Post

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is Read with Cottey? A four-week online enrichment course specifically designed for P.E.O.s to engage with the common book required of all first-year students.

When is the class offered? The class will begin on February 7 and run through February 25.

Will there be set meeting times for the class? The class will be offered in a hybrid form, meaning that there are elements of the class completed online in the Cottey course management software, and several optional class sessions held live virtually on Zoom. The optional live Zoom discussions will be held weekly on February 9, 16, and 23 at 6:00-7:00 p.m. Central Time OR February 11, 18, or 25 at 10:30-11:30 a.m. Central Time. Participants can choose to attend the weekly live session that works best for their schedule.

Will there be assignments? Think of this class as an online book club. Each week, you will be asked to read 3-4 chapters of the book, to respond to discussion questions, and to interact with your classmates by responding to their thoughts and questions.

Will there be grades? No, you will not take tests or receive graded assignments.  We want this class to be educational, thought-provoking, and fun!

Will I receive college credit? No, this is an enrichment class with no college credit received.

Who is the instructor of the class? Denise Carrick Hedges, Cottey’s director of leadership development, is the instructor of Read with Cottey. Ms. Hedges is a member of Chapter KK-MO and has been employed by Cottey for over twenty years.  Prior to assuming the role of leadership development and directing the Leadership, Experiences, and Opportunity (LEO) program, Denise was the coordinator of P.E.O. relations.

What supplies are needed for the class? You will need to have access to a copy of The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil.

What is the book about? The Girl Who Smiled Beads is a 2018 memoir of Wamariya’s experiences as a Rwandan refugee. It explores her six-year migration through various refugee camps in Africa as a child, as well as her eventual journey to the US, showing how the trauma of her refugee years continues to shape her life even as a young adult.

Can I sign up for the class if I have already read The Girl Who Smiled BeadsWe would love for you to join us! But, we ask that you please do not reveal plot details ahead of the other readers.

What technology will I need? You will need to have basic technology skills, such as basic web navigation skills (going to a specific web address, performing a search, and bookmarking a site), the ability to send and receive email, the knowledge to post and reply to a discussion board, and the ability to create an electronic paper to submit.  Minimum hardware/software requirements include Windows 8, 10 or OSX operating systems, Internet connection speeds of 512Kbs, and Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Safari web browser.  Please know, we can talk you through any questions you might have!

What is the cost? The cost for this class is $125.00.

How do I register? If you are interested, you can register at the link at the top of the page or below.

Other questions not answered here: Contact Denise Carrick Hedges at dhedges@cottey.edu.