It has been a productive and exciting year for the Next Chapter Book Club.
Our goal for the year was to expand the program and to create more community awareness.
We began by starting a Facebook page to share our ongoing activity and create interest using a new method. We also reached out by distributing posters to libraries, schools, and bookstores. In May, we increased our membership by establishing a new book club at new local café. In October, our program coordinator, 2 volunteer facilitators, and 4 book club members traveled to Chicago to attend the first conference on adult literacy in Chicago called The Next Chapter Book Club and Beyond. The conference allowed us to share what we have been achieving in our community and also helped affirm what it means to create a supportive and inclusive environment.
This year, NCBC launched our first fundraising project where we commissioned a local artist to create illustrations for a story written by one of our book club members. Along with the story titled, The Next Chapter, we also sold t-shirts to promote NCBC in the community. This fundraising project gave us the opportunity to appear on CTV Morning Live and CTV News at Noon to gain awareness for the program. The Next Chapter Book Club was also featured on the CBC’s morning radio show where members shared their thoughts and feelings about being in a book club.
With the added exposure, we were able to fill 3 volunteer facilitator positions and we are already looking into the possibility of starting another book club in January. The Next Chapter Book Club is growing; we have seen reading improvements from many of our members, as well as increased social connection and community inclusion. The Next Chapter Book Club has made an impact on the lives of the individuals involved and has also impacted the community. We are excited to continue to grow and develop the program in the New Year.
Eve Reed – NCBC Coordinator