Great Books Foundation and New York Council for the Humanities Help Veterans Transition to Civilian Life

The Great Books Foundation, in collaboration with the New York Council for the Humanities, is pleased to announce its receipt of a generous grant of $74,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The second of two grants from the NEH, this funding allows the Foundation to continue Talking Service, its initiative serving veterans of the United States Armed Forces.

Standing Down: From Warrior to Civilian Talking Service is a reading and discussion program that helps veterans in their transition from military to civilian life. Moderated by a skilled discussion leader, participants discuss powerful literature that speaks to their past experiences, present concerns, and future aspirations. All discussions focus on selections from Standing Down: From Warrior to Civilian, an anthology published in 2013 by the Foundation to support this initiative. The program is open to men and women of all ages who have served in the armed forces, as well as their families and caregivers.

Thanks to the NEH grant, the Great Books Foundation and the New York Council for the Humanities are able to bring these programs to veterans across the country. The funding supports the expansion of Talking Service through pilots at 20 host sites, 12 of them in New York State (as part of the Serving: Standing Down program).

“We are honored to be partnering with the Great Books Foundation to develop a national model that allows veterans to reflect on their service and prepare for the next phase of their lives,” says Sara Ogger, executive director of the New York Council for the Humanities. “We are excited to share our expertise in developing discussion-based programming and training facilitators to support this important effort.” The New York State pilots, starting next fall, will lay the groundwork for national expansion of Talking Service to reach greater numbers of veterans through the network of state humanities councils and other channels. More information can be found at

About The Great Books Foundation and Talking Service:

The Great Books Foundation is an independent, nonprofit educational organization whose mission is to empower readers of all ages to become more reflective thinkers through the discussion of written works and ideas of enduring value. It advances this purpose by promoting Shared Inquiry™ discussion and by publishing materials and sponsoring events that support its practice.

TSTalking Service is supported by generous grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Wounded Warrior Project, and the Plante-Moran Company. More information can be found at

About The New York Council for the Humanities:

The mission of the New York Council for the Humanities is to help all New Yorkers become thoughtful participants in their communities by promoting critical inquiry, cultural understanding, and civic engagement. Founded in 1975, the New York Council for the Humanities is the sole statewide proponent of public access to the humanities.

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