Changing Lives Through Literature Project: Literature Transforms You

Press Release—Dartmouth, MA

Watch this dramatic rendering of one scene from Edgar Allan Poe’s A Tell-Tale Heart.

Exposing the public to classic literature

The Changing Lives Through Literature (CLTL) program has launched a literature project called Literature Transforms You. The project highlights notable works of literature by creating videos marketed on YouTube. The objective is to expose the public to classic pieces of literature and to renew the public’s interest in reading.

“There are so many great works of Literature that people have not been exposed to. Creating a video dramatizes the experience of reading a novel. CLTL is much more than an alternative sentencing program that helps rehabilitate criminal offenders,” explains the project’s Director of Communication, JoAnne Breault. “It inspires people to read and learn—ultimately promoting literacy.”

Using social media to promote literature

Ms. Breault further states that utilizing YouTube is part of a campaign to harness social media for this literature project.

First Poe, then Shakespeare

The first video features David Mello, Supervisor of Children’s Services at the Fall River (MA) Public Library. Mr. Mello dramatically acts out a scene from Edgar Allan Poe’s famous short story, A Tell-Tale Heart.

Ms. Breault’s next mission is to highlight a work of William Shakespeare. “The first time you are assigned to read Shakespeare, there is a sense of apprehension. Once you start reading his words, they are so fluid and melodious; you forget that you are reading old English,” says Ms. Breault.

Children’s books to rival television and video games

Another video will feature a children’s story. “Children are bombarded with violent video games and senseless television. Reading books engages a child’s mind and inspires imagination,” says Ms. Breault.

Seeking volunteer readers and actors

Ms. Breault is seeking volunteers to read captions from their favorite novels and seeking potential actors and actresses to dramatize the scenes. She will perform all of the videography and editing to get the project posted on YouTube.

For more information, e-mail JoAnne Breault at u_jbreault@umassd.edu.

Editor’s Update

David Mello, the spell-binding Tell-Tale Heart narrator in the first Literature Transforms You video, is featured in a Fall River Herald News article by Marc Munroe Dion. The article discusses Mello’s gallery-displayed mask collection which includes a haunting mask of author Edgar Allan Poe. Read the full article.


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