English classes at the English Empowerment Center equip learners with the basic skills of reading, writing, speaking, and understanding English; some of our instructors have taken this one step further. We are excited to share that a book club for level 3 learners has been organized and facilitated by instructors and volunteer class aides Karen Schroth, Kathleen McCleary, Janice Linett, and Laurie Tracy.
Karen Schroth had the idea to start a one-week book club during the break between semesters to keep learners engaged and build their English language skills. Karen began the book club in January 2021, focusing on the book Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman. Seedfolks contains chapters each from the perspective of different individuals living in an immigrant community. In one session in 2021, the book club was filled with dog lovers, so they read Mountain Dog by Margarita Engle. Our instructors carefully select books at an appropriate reading level, that will spark excitement and encourage discussion amongst learners.
The book club presents a learning opportunity with different ways an individual can enhance their education. During the book club, some members take turns reading out loud while others follow along in the book. They discuss what they have read with room for questions and story sharing. Learners can use this group experience to focus on their individual goals such as reading skills, comprehension, confidence, and critical thinking. Many book club participants happen to be mothers with children. Their participation in the book club encourages more ways to connect with their children such as reading to them, discussing a new culture, and being a role model for reading and continuing one’s education.
For many of our learners, the book club was their first time pushing themselves to read an entire book in English. Additionally, many of them were unfamiliar with the idea of a book club as these groups are not prevalent in their culture. Thank you to our instructors and volunteers dedication to English Empowerment Center learners and their desire to share their love of reading!