The North Carolina Council of Community Programs gave a “Programs of Excellence Award” to the Piedmont Down Syndrome Support Network for our Next Chapter Book Clubs at a ceremony yesterday at their state wide conference. Below is what was read to a roomful of state leaders who provide services across the state. I’m so glad the PDSSN had this opportunity to help spread the word about the clubs to so many in the IDD field.
The Next Chapter Book Club (NCBC) offers opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to read out loud, learn together, talk about books, and make friends in a relaxed, community setting.
Clubs consist of members (regardless of reading ability) and volunteer facilitators, some of whom also have disabilities. The clubs meet in bookstores & cafés for one hour each week. NCBC members read adapted classic novels and popular literature of their choice.
After hearing about clubs from Ohio State University’s Nisonger Center and learning that none existed in North Carolina the Piedmont Down Syndrome Support Network (PDSSN) arranged free training. Forty attended and soon programs sprouted across North Carolina and into Virginia.
The PDSSN Winston-Salem area clubs started in the spring of 2012. Four clubs serve residents from three counties. The value of these clubs is far reaching, exceeding expectations of participants, parents, and facilitators alike. Besides improving literacy skills, the members readily give opinions and share ideas, gaining independence and confidence while also developing a camaraderie outside the clubs.
CenterPoint is always looking for unique, life-enhancing outcomes at minimal cost with cascading community enrichment. The Next Chapter Book Clubs meet that goal and then some