The Pemberville Public Library joined the Next Chapter Book Club Affiliate Network and launched a local club in January 2017. 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 with 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. 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," said Susan Berg, Executive Director of the Ohio-based Next Chapter Book Club.
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 a public place on a regular basis. Here is a link to a great piece on the Next Chapter Book Club, written by Rita Price of the Columbus Dispatch.
The book club is currently meeting virtually a few times each month. Anyone interested in joining the club or becoming a volunteer facilitator should contact: Pam Miller at email@example.com.