Training sessions for freshman discussion group facilitators for this year’s UAB Discussion Book, The Kite Runner, are fast approaching.

The first of two facilitator-training sessions will take place Thursday, Aug. 17, from 6-7:30 p.m. in Hill University Center Room 514; the second is Friday, Aug. 18, from 10-11:30 a.m. in Education Building Room 131.

Freshmen will be assigned to their discussion group after a welcome from UAB President Carol Garrison Monday, Aug. 21, at 1:15 p.m. in Bartow Arena. Immediately after the president’s remarks, students will be led to their individual discussion groups, which will be led by Garrison, Provost Eli Capilouto and other campus leaders, faculty and staff.

Two major community organizations — McWane Center and the Birmingham Museum of Art — also are developing events in support of UAB’s Discussion Book. The first will be College Night at the Birmingham Museum of Art Thursday, Aug. 31, from 6 to 8 p.m. UAB students, faculty and staff are invited to enjoy free admission and food, relevant talks and activities, including a scavenger hunt with prizes. Bus service will be provided between Blazer Hall courtyard circle and the museum from 5:30 p.m. until 8:15 p.m.

Details about the McWane event will be communicated as they are finalized.

UAB is sponsoring the American Place Theatre’s dramatic rendition of The Kite Runner at the Sirote Theatre Monday, Sept. 11. Admission is free. A time for the event will be announced soon.  

The Kite Runner explores how identity is tied to one’s evolving relationships with parents, friends and place. Set in pre- and post-revolutionary Afghanistan and contemporary America, it has universal appeal as a moving coming-of-age story, says Marilyn Kurata, director of Core Curriculum Enhancement.

The Discussion Book project was developed as part of UAB’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) and is designed to unite the UAB community by promoting civic involvement and the practice of open, safe, respectful dialogue about often controversial issues.