Online book clubs – supported by Reading Force
Have you ever thought of running a book club for kids or adults in your military community?
Thanks to a grant from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Force for Change programme we are supporting online book clubs to get up and running and are providing free copies of books for participants.
Are you interested in running a club with our support?
We are looking for coordinators to run online book clubs. They can be for children, teens or adults with a military connection – serving, reservist, veterans and family members. They can be in your local area or, because they are online, they can live elsewhere.
Possible coordinators could be Welfare Officers, Community Development Officers, Choir Leaders, Military Kids Club Leaders, Service Children’s Champions, and more.
We are suggesting the following age ranges:
- Junior (aged approximately 8-11)
- Senior (aged approximately 12-16)
Up to a maximum of ten people per group, meeting once per month.
Books we’ll give to book clubs…
“I like all the chat and the talk of book, the book recommendations, the quizzes and speaking to others. I really like how we can listen to each other and chat.”
“I look forward to the book club as it is great to meet and talk to other young people around the UK, and sharing ideas about the story.”
What support will you receive from Reading Force?
- Free books for the whole group for three months
- Suggested book titles for groups
- Guidelines on how to set up and run an online book club
- Discussion materials to get you started
- Ongoing help and advice
Why set up an online book club?
Do you work with Forces personnel or families? Do you believe in the power of books and shared-reading to help bring people together?
“What are the benefits? There are so many! Getting to know a greater range of people. Learning from others, having your views and attitudes stretched and challenged. Reading books you wouldn’t normally choose and being taken out of comfort zone.” Lockdown book club member
A book club can help people feel more part of their community and reduce feelings of isolation, whether held locally or online. Reading the same book can also connect people for longer than a telephone call or chat online.
While you are all reading the same book you can be thinking about how the rest of the group will react to the book. And the opportunity for a discussion can be really appreciated – everyone has common ground and the outcome can be both an interesting discussion and perhaps a perspective you had not thought of before.
“I felt included and it’s good to be given a voice and an opportunity to express your thoughts as well as to listen to those of others. I can think of nothing better.” Lockdown book club member
Now is a great time to think about a new challenge and connect with your community through sharing books!
What does being a coordinator involve?
- Inviting people to join the group (ten maximum) and liaising with group members. We suggest you start with local contacts and build from there. The only stipulation (from the Reading Force charity) is that all those included must have a connection to the military (including wider family members, veterans, military personnel, former military families separated through divorce or relationship breakdown)
- Organising a monthly online book club (with support from us)
- Communication in between (we will provide templates and guides to get you started)
- Coordination of getting copies of books to your book club members
- Preparation for the meeting
- Hosting the meeting
- Following up afterwards
- Securing permission from parents for any young people under 16 to participate (we will provide the relevant form and guidance)
If you’d like to help your community by running an online book club
To register your interest or find out more, contact Judith, our Reading Force Book Club Ambassador. Judith will help and support all coordinators to get started and as you continue running your groups.
Judith@readingforce.org.uk or call her on 07446 336426