How the Bridges Book of the Month Club Got Started
When I attended the very first training for Bridges Out of Poverty, one statement made by facilitator Jim Ott really stuck with me: “If you read to your child every day from the day he’s born, he or she will be ready for school at five years old.” I wondered, is it really that simple? Actually, it is, because from those stories the child hears complete sentences, he or she hears Standard English, they hear vocabulary and sentence patterns—over and over and over!
Convinced, I started raiding the book shelves of Hopefully Yours, the Salvation Army, and Friends of the Library sales for “gently-read” books for the Bridges children, usually one or two full shopping bags for each class.
Then I thought, “Why not new books?” and began to envision a Book-of-the-Month Club with brand new—not used—books for the Bridges children. I would start with the youngest girl, who was four months old and go up to the five-year-old’s (copying the age group from Jim Ott’s statement). Before long, though, I realized I needed to include their older siblings; so I expanded the Book Club from birth through Middle School.
Virginia Garnjobst (the kids call her the book lady!)