First Bank & Trust Sponsors 2013 Common Read

Wednesday, September 25th

BROOKINGS, SD, SEPTEMBER 25, 2013 – First Bank & Trust is proud to, once again, sponsor Common Read in the Brookings community. The program is coordinated on campus through the SDSU Honors College. This year’s book, The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL, will be read by more than 2,000 SDSU students (integrated into first-year seminar courses), Brookings High School students, and community members.

“While we hope the common read will enhance awareness of the experiences of our military service members and veterans, it’s also an important story with a strong message that applies to everyone: we all have a place to serve on the front lines,” said Timothy Nichols, Dean, SDSU Honors College.

Support from First Bank & Trust is helping to purchase books for local middle and high school students whose teachers choose to integrate it into their classes. Brookings High School teacher Gayle Klinker is using the book as part of the AR program for juniors. It will also be a reference later in the year for a writing assignment, comparing personal reflections about war and the impact war has on those who serve.

Mickelson Middle School seventh grade students will read the young reader’s edition, The Warrior’s Heart. Seventh grade teacher Karen Thaler is using the book for vocabulary words and writing assignments based on questions posed in the book. Overall, the class is using the book to ask the questions, Who are you? and What do you stand

“First Bank & Trust is pleased to support Common Read in Brookings for the past three years,” said Kevin Tetzlaff, CEO/President of First Bank & Trust, Brookings. “We recognize the educational value and opportunities created in bringing the community together through this type of interconnectivity.”

Upon the request of Mayor Tim Reed’s Human Rights Committee, First Bank & Trust also sponsored an additional 200 books, which are currently available for pick-up by veterans at the First Bank & Trust downtown location (520 6th St.)

“Making this year’s book available to local veterans is something I’m very pleased to a part of,” said Mayor, Tim Reed. “Based on their service and experiences, First Bank & Trust and I feel it’s especially important to include veterans in this year’s program.”

A campus-community Common Read committee spends about one year evaluating and selecting a book, with the help of faculty and student nominations. This year’s book is closely aligned with the program’s objectives to enhance awareness of contemporary issues, exposure to diversity, critical thinking, faculty/student interaction and service. The committee also plans a series of events associated with the book, which reinforce its messages of strength, compassion, finding your mission and an awareness of the military/veteran’s experience. The events include speakers, films, and panel discussions of local students and community veterans. Common Read events began with the kick-off on September 10, and will culminate when the book’s author, Eric Greitens, delivers the Griffith Honors Forum Lecture on November 13 at the Performing Arts Center at SDSU.

Other groups committed to the program include SDSU Veteran’s Affairs Office, Army and Air Force ROTC, and the Great Plains Writers’ Conference.

Learn more about Common Read and The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL at

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