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December 28, 2020

THIS BOOK IS COOL! Family Fun Reading Club

Editor’s Note: Laurie Miller, an SCGLR Engagement Team member, has successfully adapted the THIS BOOK IS COOL! webisode series into an offering for Stronger Me, Stronger We. The Stronger We, Stronger Me initiative also includes Mind in the Making based on the groundbreaking book by Ellen Galinsky entitled, Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs; The Power of Presence: Explore the seven presences — Mind, Heart, Faith, Courage, Financial Freedom, Values, and Connectedness — in author Joy Thomas Moore’s book, The Power of Presence; and Vrooming to Literacy: Guided conversations centered on brain-building activities for kids five and under.


Dear Future Friends,

When I first started working on THIS BOOK IS COOL!, it was summer. The challenge to make 100 webisodes was tackled at warp speed. The books were cool, but it was most certainly hot outside. Now, as we come into our Sarasota winter (60 wasn’t this cold in NYC, was it?!), the books, the weather, and our newest offering, THIS BOOK IS COOL! Family Fun Reading Club, an extension of our summer program, are all making strides of coolness.

At first, we didn’t quite know how this new program would look. We knew we had 100 awesome webisodes hosted by the ever-charming Beth Duda. But how do we extend that experience? One step at a time, our aspirations became clear—a playdate for the whole family! As a mother to a 3-year-old daughter, it was just the thing I was looking for myself. A space for families to embrace the joy of reading, to laugh, craft, play games, learn, and connect. Let’s face it. It’s been a tough year for people of all ages. We could all use a little fun.

And this club is fun! It’s interactive and playful, and sometimes, outright silly. It’s like a party where we take a deeper dive into three books throughout five one-hour zoom sessions and explore a common theme. Yes, we’re learning. Yes, we’re nurturing our love of reading. Yes, there are gift boxes. And yes, we’re having fun!

We hosted a practice session to see what was working and what could use some improvement. We shared, we danced, we wore funny hats. The wonderful families that joined us were engaged and the time spent felt meaningful. We had a lot of aha moments and some cringeworthy ones too. After the session, one mom asked to stay on the call to inquire about more programs like this for her kids. Yes! We have more.

We’ve got a whole goodie bag of workshops for personal growth and connection in the Stronger Me, Stronger We catalogue. And thanks to the generosity of The Patterson Foundation, it’s all a gift! Yay—presents!!

There’s an old Groucho Marx quote that reads something like, “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.” Well, the line’s a great comedy classic, but it definitely does not apply here. My family can’t wait to be members of this cool club. We are ready to have a great time and hope you and your family are too. So, consider this your personal invitation to the party and join us! It’s going to be much more fun if you’re there!

Happy New Year,
Laurie (Ben, Shanti, and Morky)

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