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Today is a day I have been looking forward to for a long time. It is the beginning of what I think will be a wonderful experience. Today we had our first meeting for the Next Chapter Book Club. Those of you who read my blog regularly know how much this means to me.
The Next Chapter Book Club (NCBC) was established in 2002 by the Ohio State University Nisonger Center. NCBC is a community literacy program for adolescents and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The program provides them with opportunities to be part of a group activity and to build social connections within bookstores, coffee shops, and cafés. The book clubs consist of five to eight members with disabilities and two volunteer facilitators. There are over 100 book clubs in North America and Europe. Now there is one in Vincennes, Indiana.
I heard about NCBC on Jaana's Writing Blog, and last March I was trained to be a program coordinator. Our path to launch this book club has contained many bumps, but my dream finally became a reality today. There are five ladies in our book club, and each one brings her own specialness to the group. There is Carolyn loves to swim at the YMCA and enjoys reading biographies. Suzie who loves children, especially babies. Maria who works five days a week, has a boyfriend and listens to mystery audio books. Becca who loves to go bowling rounds out the group.
I get to share my love of reading with my students each and every day. It is the best part of being a teacher of reading. But sharing my love of reading to people with disabilities has brought a new joy. The best part of the meeting was when one of them said, "This was fun! I think I want to do it again."
Literacy should have no boundaries or limits, whether it be age, poverty or ability. It should be literacy for life - every life. ~ Leigh Anne Eck