Next Chapter Book Club

The Henrietta Hankin Branch Library has been an active affiliate of the Next Chapter Book Club, a community-based program that welcomes adolescents and adults with Down Syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, and other types of intellectual and developmental differences. Founded in 2002 by Dr. Thomas Fish, a professor at the Ohio State University, the Next Chapter Book Club was awarded the “Innovations in Reading Prize” in 2016 by the National Book Foundation and has clubs throughout North America and in other parts of the world.


Clubs meet in public places and are comprised of four to eight members and two volunteer facilitators who are trained to engage readers of all levels—including those who cannot read or are “emerging readers.” Although reading skills of Next Chapter Book Club members often improve as a result of reading more frequently, the program is more about “reading to learn,” than “learning to read.” The primary focus is on having fun with friends in a public place on a regular basis.

Join Us!

We currently run a Tuesday evening group that meets via Zoom from 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. and a Wednesday evening group that meets in person at the library from 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. However, it is possible for us to form new groups once we have enough people whose time availabilities match. 

The Next Chapter Book club provides a great opportunity to enjoy books and make lasting friendships along the way. Anyone interested in joining can fill out an online member application here: For more infomation or to become a volunteer facilitator, contact the Program Coordinator, Claire Michelle Viola by email at [email protected], or phone 610-344-4196.

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