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“Hidden in America” Screening Part of Common Reader Activities

The College of Health and Human Services will show the film Hidden in America on Wednesday, March 2, 2011, at 6:30 p.m. in Wallwork Hall, Pratt Drive and Grant Street.

The screening is free and open to the community.

The film addresses themes similar to those in this year’s Common Freshman Reader, Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich. The book is Ehrenreich’s personal story of working at or below minimum wage. She traveled across three states working as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing-home aide, and Wal-Mart salesperson to showcase to America the perception of its working poor.

Hidden in America, starring Beau and Jeff Bridges, is about a family “not getting by in America”: The mother is lost to illness, leaving the family with high medical bills, the father works a minimum wage job, and the daughter becomes ill because of poor nutrition.

Following the movie, faculty and staff members from the College of Health and Human Services will lead discussions about how themes from the Common Freshman Reader cross over into the film.

This is the fifth year for the Common Freshman Reader program, one of several initiatives designed to promote first-year student success.

The selected text is distributed free to first-year students before they arrive on campus, and they are encouraged to read the book before beginning their studies at IUP.

The book is selected by a panel of faculty and staff members. To qualify, a book must relevant to today’s students, offer interdisciplinary appeal, and provide opportunities for diverse programming.

Author Ehrenreich lectured on campus in October 2010.