The Kokomo–Howard County Public Library in partnership with Bona Vista recently joined the Next Chapter Book Club Affiliate Network and will soon be launching a local club.
Founded by Dr. Thomas Fish, a professor at The Ohio State University in 2002, Next Chapter Book Club is a community-based book club program for individuals with Down Syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, and other types of intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Next Chapter Book Club, which was awarded the “Innovations in Reading Prize” by the National Book Foundation in 2016, 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.”
“People with intellectual and developmental disabilities love books for the same reasons most people do,” according to the Next Chapter Book Club. “They enjoy being transported to different worlds where they meet interesting characters and learn about exciting new things. Taking that journey with a group of friends makes it even more delightful and fun.”
Although reading skills of Next Chapter Book Club members often improve as a result of reading more often, the program is more about “reading to learn,” rather than “learning to read.” The primary focus is on having fun with friends in public place on a regular basis.
“The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library’s goal is to serve patrons from all walks of life and of all abilities, and the Next Chapter Book Club allows us to do that in a new and exciting way,” said Trisha Shively, Head of Adult and Teen Services.
Anyone interested in joining the club or becoming a volunteer facilitator should contact: Shively via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 765.626.0811.