GREENVILLE — Greenville Public Library’s third floor meeting room was packed with movie fans, June 23.
The free event, featuring “Charlotte’s Web” attracted a big crowd feasting on popcorn, candy bars and soda pop. Some of the guests were from the Next Chapter Book Club. They just finished reading “Charlotte’s Web”, by E. B. White. The club has seven members so far plus Facilitators: Rush Rogers, a retired teacher from Columbus, Ohio and Darke County Developmental Disabilities (DD) Advocacy and Recreation Coordinator Mary Baker. The Darke County Board of DD recently joined the Next Chapter Book Club Affiliate, which now offers the program locally. Members meet at the Coffee Pot, in Greenville, Thursday afternoons. They read aloud and discuss events and themes from the book. Greenville Public Library lends support by purchasing the books for the club and offering a movie and popcorn upon finishing a book. The public is invited because one aspect of the program is for the members to feel a sense of inclusion, Baker explained.
“They enjoy social connections and being a part of the community,” she said. “Seeing the members in public also lessens a sense of difference.”
Greenville Public Library’s Reference Supervisor and Adult Programming Coordinator Deb Cameron said each year the library starts with a fresh vision of untapped outlets to help enrich the community. She said the focus is on collaborating with other businesses and groups in the community to serve the whole county.
“This is a huge need in the community,” she said. “There are many adult daycare facilities. The purpose of the book club and movie is to integrate people into social situations to enjoy life.”
Club Facilitator Rogers said the club has been successful in many ways.
“I don’t know that the concept of enjoying reading was there before the club,” she said. “We had such fun answering the questions and thinking about the book’s themes, such as: What does freedom look like?, What do we see at the fair?, What does friendship look like? The conversation about the book was uplifting for all. They were enjoying the process, which opened them up to the joy of reading. I think they will invite their friends to join. It is a life – long skill that feeds your spirit and can be done anywhere. The enjoyment of reading ripples out in many ways, including conversations, watching movies and forming friendships.”
Club member Lauren Warner said she enjoys reading and talking about the books and is looking forward to the next book, “Because of Winn-Dixie”, by Kate DiCamillo. Club member Morgan Sheperd said he had never read “Because of Winn-Dixie” before and is curious to see how the story unfolds.
The next meeting of The Next Chapter Book Club featuring the book “Because of Winn-Dixie” is Thursday, July 20, at the Coffee Pot on South Broadway Street, in Greenville. Members start arriving at 3 p.m. to socialize and purchase snacks and then the book club meets from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. New members are welcome. More facilitators are needed. Those who enjoy sharing books and love reading call Mary Baker at 937-459-4628.