By Reese Wallace
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Valencia’s Get Into Reading program held its first discussion group on Wednesday to talk about Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” The amount of students who turn out surprised the staff hosting the event.

“It was beyond expectations,” said Regina Seguin, a librarian at Valencia’s West Campus.

Their were 82 students who came to the event and the seats in the room were overflowing causing some students to have to sit on the floor.

The Get Into Reading program on Valencia’s West Campus have many classes involved in reading Hurston’s novel, which is her most famous work about a young black woman in Florida in the early 20th century.

Students came to the event for a number of reasons, but the most frequent reason that came up was academics. “My teacher is the reason I came,” said Corey Cunningham, a Valencia student, “my teacher and extra credit.”

After the video the students split into different groups to discuss questions about the book and Hurston’s life. The hosting staff thought the discussion got off to a slow start, but a question about the nature of the sexes got the group involved.

“When you bring up contentious issues people really…” said Seguin before lapsing into silence looking for the right word to describe the reaction of the crowd. “That’s the point of great literature, tying into important concepts of today.”

Seguin thinks the events will only get better as the semester goes on.

“People haven’t gotten into the book yet,” she said, “I think it was a good starting point.”

The next Get Into Reading discussion event is on Wednesday February 4 at 8:30 a.m.