Next Chapter Book Club
Since the summer of 2019, 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.
In the spring of 2020 our Next Chapter Book Club continued to meet weekly, but in a virtual setting via Zoom along with many other library programs that used to meet in person. We currently run a Tuesday evening group that meets from 5:00 p.m. -6:00 p.m. and a Wednesday evening group that meets from 4:00 p.m. -5:00 p.m.
The Next Chapter Book club provides a great opportunity to enjoy books and make lasting friendships along the way. Anyone interested in joining or becoming a volunteer facilitator should contact the Program Coordinator, Claire Michelle Viola by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 610-344-4196.