Friday, November 27, 2009

eastmeetswest book club

A few of us came to meet Amanda, community volunteer and creator of the women's book club that meets twice monthly at the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre. This project has a kind of magic. It began with a letter to the BCTLA from community literacy volunteer Amanda who needed help providing books for their monthly reading. It was a project that Vancouver TLs could work with better than the provincial organization; Chris nabbed it and sold the idea to me.

Yes, we could probably help with books. But we also had an idea that our union brothers and sisters would also see the "magic" in this request. We loved the reading list and knew they would too. We loved the commitment and the authentic delivery of reading and education to women whose lives might just be enhanced by time together, conversation, books, and nutritious snacks. We thought we might like to read the same books and have our own conversations. Our first book was Heather O'Neill's Lullabies for Little Criminals.
Amanda brought news that her readers were delighted that their project had prompted our reading. Reciprocal interest in promoting reading ... can you beat that? Yes, you can ... by sharing responses to the shared experience. We are going to try working with a web-based conversation.

Is there more magic to this? Well, yes, there is. You see, tonight we discovered that Amanda's grandfather taught Science for many years here in Vancouver at Byng and Kits. Thanks, Bud, for this delightful contribution to the building of communities of learning. Thanks, Amanda, for creating our real opportunity to engage in profound reading and thinking and to be part of the virtual eastmeetswest book club.
The next meeting is December 11. The book is The Liar's Club by Mary Karr. I think this one may best be found in used bookshops. Contact me for more details.

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