Toms River's NEA Big Read 2018-2019

NEA Big Read presented by Toms River Regional Schools: The Things They Carried

For the second consecutive year, out of only 75 institutions nationwide, Toms River Regional Schools has been awarded a grant and selected to host NEA Big Read, a community-wide literacy campaign centered on one novel. The 2018-2019 program will run Feb. 14 through March 28, 2019, and our book of choice is the powerful Vietnam War-era novel by Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried.


  • canceled
    OCL Book Discussion Canceled
    Tonight's scheduled book discussion at Ocean County Library has been canceled. Check the NEA Big Read calendar for upcoming events.
    Read More »
  • poet Khalil
    Big Read Poetry Fest Explores Love, War, and Much More
    High School North hosted a mini poetry festival, the first of its kind for the district, and the secondary-level kickoff to Toms River’s 2019 NEA Big Read program.
    Read More »
  • teachers
    NEA Big Read Kicks Off in Grand Style at East Dover
    A fun-filled evening honored veterans and The Things They Carried.
    Read More »
  • kickoff flyer
    2019 NEA Big Read Kickoff Event Jan. 23 at East Dover
    Toms River’s 2018-2019 NEA Big Read program will kick off next week with a free event at East Dover Elementary School.
    Read More »
  • Tim OBrien
    District Awarded NEA Big Read for Second Straight Year
    Read More »


Big Read 2019 books going out to teachers at HS East today with poem book marks!

Follow Toms River's NEA Big Read on Twitter for all the latest news, photos, event information, and more.

Learn More »

NEA Big Read Photo Gallery

Our Partners

Toms River's NEA Big Read 2017-2018 Archive


In 2017, Toms River Regional Schools was among the first two public school districts to ever be awarded a grant to host NEA Big Read, a month-long, community-wide literacy campaign based on one novel. For that initial year, we selected Emily St. John Mandel's award-winning Station Eleven, which we connected to Superstorm Sandy five years after the storm ravaged New Jersey.

Photo Gallery


  • float
    Big Finish for Big Read at Halloween Parade
    Read More »
  • GSP
    Garden State Philharmonic Offering Big Read Discount for Oct. 28 Show
    Read More »
  • HSS7
    High School South Students Participate in Big Read Activities
    Read More »
  • cavallaro
    Jersey's Own Mike Cavallaro to Host Graphic Novel Program
    Read More »
  • panelposter
    Big Read Panel Discussion Oct. 26
    Read More »
  • mural1
    Big Read Mural Unveiled
    Read More »
  • bigfun
    Trivia Night Oct. 20
    Read More »
  • museum
    Doomsday Program at Ocean County Library Oct. 18
    Read More »
  • hsnbigread1
    High School North celebrates 'Station Eleven Day'
    Read More »
  • ESJM
    #TweetToMeet Author of Station Eleven
    Read More »
  • bigreaddiscussion
    Invite for Oct. 19 Book Discussion
    Read More »
  • ochd
    OCHD Assists with Big Read
    Read More »
  • bigreadmaker
    Big Read at Makerfest
    Read More »
  • writing
    On Tap for NEA Big Read: Writing With Scissors
    Read More »
  • patch
    Superstorm Sandy Documentary Screening On Tap Monday Night In Toms River
    Read More »
  • HHAS
    Up Next: Sandy Documentary
    Read More »
  • books
    Toms River Schools' Big Read Launches Monday Night
    TOMS RIVER, NJ — As the fifth anniversary of Superstorm Sandy's devastating impact on Toms River and the Jersey Shore approaches, the Toms River Regional School District is launching a monthlong reading program to connect with the community and give people a chance to reflect on those events.
    Read More »
  • Kickoff
    Big Read Kickoff Event TONIGHT!
    Join us tonight from 6:30-8 p.m. at Ocean County Library for Toms River's NEA Big Read Kickoff Event. Door prizes, engaging discussions, student performances, and more will help set the tone for a month of Station Eleven and Superstorm Sandy reflection. You can RSVP for the event below. See you there!
    Read More »
  • trr
    Toms River Rocks Book-Hiding Underway
    In fact, there are already two lucky winners who found a wrapped copy of Station Eleven out in the community that includes a golden ticket to meet author Emily St. John Mandel Oct. 26. Are you out looking? Follow the Toms River Rocks Facebook page (below) for more info. Happy hunting!
    Read More »
  • Kickoff
    RSVP Today for Kickoff, Big Read Programs
    All Toms River NEA Big Readers can now RSVP to the Oct. 2 Kickoff Event and all library events on the OCL calendar. You can even set up reminders and view more info. Click below to sign up and secure your spot for these fantastic Big Read events!
    Read More »
  • NEABigRead
    Big Read Timeline of October Events Released
    Check out the timeline for Toms River's first NEA Big Read! It's chock full of unique opportunities to discuss and celebrate Station Eleven, reflect on Sandy, learn and create, and interact with family, friends, and neighbors. Don't forget to join the program and sign up for text alerts (see side links)!
    Read More »
  • passport
    Get your Big Read passport stamped!
    Allow our Big Read timeline to be your passport as you travel from station to station this October. Print out the timeline and bring it to all events to have it stamped. Who among us will be the ultimate Big Read participants? Time will tell ...
    Read More »
  • OCL
    Ocean County Library Releases October Big Read Programs
    Ocean County Library has released its October programming schedule for Toms River's first NEA Big Read. Events will be part of the larger month-long timeline (coming soon!). Mark your calendars now-- this is going to be great!
    Read More »
  • OCLdisplay
    Station Eleven Front and Center at OCL
    At Ocean County Library, plenty of copies of Station Eleven are ready to be checked out. So what are you waiting for, Toms River? Get ready for NEA Big Read this October by reading the fascinating novel this summer ... you're going to love it.
    Read More »
  • headshot
    Emily St. John Mandel Set to Join TR's First NEA Big Read
    Station Eleven author Emily St. John Mandel will be joining Toms River for its first NEA Big Read. She'll be taking part in a panel discussion Oct. 26 at OCC's Grunin Center for the Arts. More info to come, but in the meantime, mark your calendars. Learn more about this bestselling novelist by clicking below.
    Read More »
  • Big Read
    Toms River Patch Covers District's NEA Big Read Announcement
    TOMS RIVER, NJ — The Toms River Regional School District has been awarded a $14,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read program for a community-wide reading program that that will tie into the fifth anniversary of Superstorm Sandy.
    Read More »
  • Big Read logo
    Toms River Regional School District Receives Grant to Host NEA Big Read
    NEA Big Read is coming to Toms River. A program of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), NEA Big Read is designed to “broaden our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.” Toms River Regional Schools is one of 75 not-for-profit organizations to receive a grant to host a project between September 2017 and June 2018. 
    Read More »