THE first Next Chapter Book Club to be launched in Australia will be right here in Echuca.
The program, out of the USA, offers community-based book clubs for adolescents and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The club is a joint venture by Community Living and Respite Services and the Campaspe Regional Library and aims to be inclusive for all abilities.
‘‘The best part about this program is that you don’t have to be able to read to be a part of it,’’ CLRS service development manager Leah McNulty said.
‘‘It caters for all skill levels and aims at giving all involved the confidence to one day be able to read aloud.’’
Instigated by the Library, the program aims to fill a gap in the community.
‘‘We realised there was a gap in what we provide for people,’’ library services manager Jenny Mustey said.
‘‘We have been looking to do this for a while and are excited to be finally doing it.
‘‘It gives people with a disability the ability to socialise in a setting where they know they will be accepted and included.’’
The program aims to be completely volunteer based which will facilitate the program and ensure it runs smoothly.
‘‘All volunteers will have ongoing training and support offered to them to ensure they are properly informed and trained to deal with people with disabilities,’’ Ms McNulty said.
‘‘The club will remain relatively small of only eight people to ensure there are resources available for everyone and it is a manageable number,’’ Ms Mustey said.
If you want to be involved in the book club or if you want to volunteer you can contact Liz at CLRS on 5480 2388 or Nerida at the library on 5481 2400.