Next Chapter Book Club for people with disabilities


Posted on August 24, 2017

By Roberta Derikx, Volunteer Coordinator

Hutton House embarked on an innovative new program this year called the “Next Chapter Book Club”.  This program started in the United States and has spread around the world. We are excited to be the first affiliate in Ontario to participate in the program!  

Our next program starts September 12 and we need volunteers to register as soon as possible.

Hutton House volunteers and sisters, Sami Joosten and Alexis Juliao were the volunteer facilitators of our first group.   The experience has been rewarding and special for both of them, says Sami, “My sister Alexis and I are like two peas in a pod. We love volunteering together. We each bring different strengths and skills to the book club, which makes it very fun and productive. We both love to read and being able to share that love of reading with others.”Sami and Alexis

The goal of the program is for a group to get together in a public place for a fun activity that nurtures the enjoyment of books and gives a true opportunity for socialization and inclusion in community life.

The philosophy of the program is “reading to learn”, not “learning to read”.  Book Club members can be at different reading levels, and some may be non-readers.  Improvement in reading ability is something that can happen naturally for many who participate, but it is not the purpose of the group.

Sami agrees, “That’s what makes this book club so great.  It’s foremost a unique social gathering experience that encourages friendship and conversation and reading improvement is an added bonus!  It is a great space to read lots of different types of books and talk about them.  A book club should be available to anyone and it is so great to finally have a book club for adults and youth with disabilities.”

The Next Chapter Book Club is an inclusive club where readers of all levels are welcome. Sami says one of her favourite moments was when one of the book club participants said, "Whoa. I'm getting better at reading!"

Please watch this video to see just what we mean about the fun and benefits of the Next Chapter Book Club for participants with disabilities and volunteer facilitators.


The time commitment for Book Club Volunteer Facilitators is 1.5 hours a week.  (This factors in arriving 15 mins early, 1 hour for the book club itself, and 15 minutes for wrap-up/pack-up at the end.)

The Book Club is held at the Cherryhill Village Mall, 301 Oxford St. East – tables & chairs for the group will be set up outside of the library. 

Each Book Club group runs for 12 weeks.  Training is provided.

Book Club Facilitator Volunteers are the leaders of the group, so they need to be able to make a firm commitment to facilitating the group each week. 

If you would like to volunteer at our upcoming book clubs please contact Roberta Derikx, Volunteer Coordinator at 519 472 1541 x224 or email: Roberta [at]