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Next Chapter Book Club Tom Fish, Ph.D., LISW & Paula Rabidoux, Ph.D./CCC with Jillian Ober, M.A., CRC & Vicki L. W. Graff, B.A., B.Ed.

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The groundbreaking, nationally recognized Next Chapter Book Club (NCBC) provides rewarding learning and social opportunities for hundreds of people with intellectual disabilities. This new guide shows you how to use the innovative NCBC model to set up a successful book club where members read aloud together, improve literacy or read for the first time, and make lasting friendships as they discuss books every week at their local coffee shop or bookstore.

Developed in 2002 by Tom Fish and his colleagues at The Ohio State University Nisonger Center, the NCBC program now boasts more than 100 clubs. Clubs include five to eight members--all ages and literacy levels are welcome--and discussion is facilitated by two trained volunteers. Much like other book clubs, NCBC members choose how they want to structure their club and which books they want to read.

All aspects of sponsoring, organizing and implementing a book club in any community are covered. Facilitators learn how to manage their group, use strategies to initiate or improve reading skills, and encourage social interaction. NCBC also provides ongoing training and support to program coordinators and facilitators. A handy CD-ROM included in the book provides several dozen key forms and templates, such as Member and Facilitator Intake Forms, End-of-Book Survey, and Five-Level Scale of Literacy Skills. It also includes 57 strategies and activities that book clubs use.

The enrichment of the NCBC experience continues to exceed the expectations of everyone involved; no club has ever disbanded! In addition to improving their reading skills and making friends, participants become connected to their community because they go regularly to a social meeting place where all kinds of people gather. Don't wait to set up a book club in your neighborhood--Next Chapter Book Club tells you how. It's easy and fun. Teachers, parents, social service providers, and prospective members will want a copy.

"The authors of this explicit how-to manual for planning, implementing and evaluating a book club for individuals with intellectual disabilities go far beyond the step by step process involved. The book’s organization and sensitivity reflect a philosophy of community inclusion, socialization, self-determination and self-advocacy for its membership. The contributors represent diverse professional backgrounds in social work, rehabilitation counseling, literacy and education, along with extensive publishing know-how. Add to that mix a healthy dose of experience and one can see why this volume is comprehensive in its attention to detail and responsive to the myriad questions and issues any reader might ponder.

As you read the pages of this book, from the foreword, penned by the parent of a woman with Down syndrome, through to the resources and appendices, you will no doubt discover that a Next Chapter Club (NCBC) offers an exciting, evolving journey of fun and discovery for its participants. I especially enjoyed reading the many profiles of members, facilitators and host sites involved in the organization and its encouragement of sharing personal stories within the contest of club meetings. Based at Ohio State University’s Nisonger Centre, the list of NCBC affiliates includes 2 sites in Canada, one of which (the Down Syndrome Research Foundation in Burnaby, BC) is approved for affiliate training.

The NCBC has strong theoretical underpinnings and a clear organizational structure to which its affiliate sites must adhere. While its design ensures that individual clubs have resources, support and access to ongoing research, this strength may create a deterrent for potential membership, due to the estimated $1000 training fee to initiate an affiliate status, and fairly stringent expectations around implementation. Whether a group pursues formal affiliate status, or chooses to develop a book club model to meet their unique needs, this book and accompanying CD-ROM offer a beneficial template and valuable resources."
-Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, December 2010, 77(5) 

Foreword

Preface

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1. What Is the Next Chapter Book Club?

  • How Does the Next Chapter Book Club Work?
  • What Are the Objectives of the Next Chapter Book Club?
  • Who Participates in the Next Chapter Book Club?
  • Next Chapter Book Club Organizational Chart
  • How is the Next Chapter Book Organized?
  • Who Leads the Next Chapter Book Club?
  • Who Benefits From the Next Chapter Book Club?

2. Why Should You Start a Next Chapter Book Club in Your Community?

  • The Next Chapter Book Club Model
  • Reciprocal Relationships in the NCBC Model

3. Who Are NCBC Affiliates?

  • Profiles of NCBC Affiliates
  • Current NCBC Affiliates

4. What Happens at an NCBC Affiliate Training Workshop?

  • Getting Started
  • The Affiliate Training Workshop
  • Feedback From workshop Participants

5. How Do Local Program Coordinators Run an NCBC Program?

  • Who Can Be a Program Coordinator?
  • Recruiting
  • Training
  • Retention
  • Scheduling
  • Monitoring, Support, and Evaluation
  • Book and Supply Inventory
  • Making Book Accommodations
  • Finding Host Sites
  • Community Collaborations and Program Development
  • Program Funding

6. Who Are NCBC Members?

  • How Do We Recruit New Members
  • Profiles of NCBC Members’ Literacy Levels
  • Who Are Peer Activity Leaders (PALs)?
  • Profiles of NCBC PALs
  • How Well Has the PAL Program Worked?

7. What Do NCBC Members Want To Know About Their Club?

  • A Book Club: “What A Novel Idea”
  • Our Members Speak

8. Who Are NCBC Facilitators?

  • Why Do We Recruit Volunteers?
  • What Are the Benefits of Volunteering?
  • Why Do NCBC Facilitators Volunteer?
  • Why Do We Recruit Two or More Facilitators for Each Club?
  • How Does This Experience Compare with What Facilitators Expect?
  • How Does This Experience Relate to Other Aspects of Facilitators’ Lives?
  • What Would Current Facilitators Say to Prospective Ones?
  • Profiles of NCBC Facilitators

9. What Do NCBC Facilitators Do?

  • Step 1: Examine Your Motivation for Becoming an NCBC Facilitator
  • Step 2: Prepare Yourself and Your Club
  • Step 3: Facilitate Your Group
  • Step 4: Become Involved in Recruiting New NCBC member and Facilitators

10. What Are NCBC Host Sites?

  • What Does a Host Site Do?What Are the Benefits to Host Sites?
  • How Do Host Sites Respond to the NCBC?
  • Why Not Meet in Libraries and Community Centers?
  • What Are the Disadvantages of Bookstores and Cafes?
  • What About Meeting in Restaurants?
  • Are There Exceptions to the NCBC Host Site Rule?
  • Profiles of NCBC Host Sites
  • How Do I Select a Host Site?
  • How Should I Approach a Host Site Manager?
  • Profile of an NCBC Host Site Manager

11. What Is the Role of Families and Support Staff?

12. What Strategies and Activities Do Book Clubs Use?

  • Strategies and Activities That Encourage Reading
  • Strategies and Activities That Encourage Social Interaction
  • Strategies and Activities That Increase Community Inclusion

13. How Do You Market and Promote the NCBC Program?

  • Reaching Out to Families, Support Staff, and Service Coordinators
  • Reaching Out to Service Agencies and Advocacy Organizations
  • Reaching Out to People with Intellectual Disabilities
  • How To Approach Funding Sources and Community Organizations

14. How Can You Evaluate the NCBC Program?

  • Literacy Evaluations
  • Family Members and Support Staff Evaluations
  • Questions for Member Interviews
  • Questions for Facilitator Interviews
  • Community Inclusion Surveys

15. Conclusion: What’s the Next Chapter?

16. Frequently Asked Questions and Special Considerations

  • Club Operations
  • Composition
  • Group Dynamics
  • Strategies

NCBC Contact Information

Glossary

References

Resources

Appendices
A: Next Chapter Book Club Library
B: Member Intake Form
C: Facilitator Intake Form
D: Facilitator Position Description
E: Monthly Facilitator Report
F: Member End-of-Book Survey
G: Certificate of Accomplishment
H: Five-Level Scale of Literacy Skills
I: ECO-NCBC Literacy Observations
J: Family/Staff Expectations Survey
K: Family/Staff Satisfaction Survey
L: Questions for Member Interviews
M: Chuckie’s Questionnaire
N: Questions for Facilitator Interviews
O: Community Inclusion Survey for Members BEFORE Book Club
P: Community Inclusion-Location Survey for Members AFTER Book Club
Q: Community Living Attitudes Scale (Adapted)
R: Western Springs Suburban Life: “Unique book club started for young adults”

Index

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