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Build a Book Club, and Build a Love of Reading Among Adult Learners

February 29, 2024

When we read for pleasure, we open ourselves to a world of new information or are transported to places beyond our wildest dreams. We expose ourselves to different ways of thinking and ideas that challenge our beliefs.

As adults learn to read, it’s imperative that their materials are written at their level to participate in this exchange of knowledge, to grow and learn, while also building their skills. As adult students, ensuring they have materials and activities that make them feel like adults, and not just students, is crucial to their motivation and persistence.

This is where our long-time partner Gemma Open Door for Literacy excels. For 16 years, Gemma, led by its founder Trish O’Hare’s passion for literature, has published books for adults at low-literacy levels not to learn how to read but to learn how to love reading and how it can transform their life.

March is National Reading Month and a great time to promote a love of reading with students. A book club at your adult literacy program is an ideal way to do this with low-level readers: it’s a safe space where they can build their comprehension skills through organic discussion that is led by participants rather than questions in a textbook.

In partnership, Gemma and ProLiteracy New Readers Press have made it easy to launch a book club at your program. We’ve outlined every step to build a positive and successful experience for students, from preparing your book club to building your community to teaching strategies. But don’t forget; while our checklist outlines a plan, it’s important to keep it informal and let your participants guide the group and grow their love of reading.

As students become more comfortable, the benefits of the book club will naturally start to follow in the forms of:

  • Improved language skills
  • Increased confidence
  • Exposure to new cultures
  • Community building
  • Real-world practical discussions
  • A love for lifelong learning

Use the check list to help facilitate your book club


Gemma has two new titles in its collection.

All of Gemma’s HiLo books, sold through ProLiteracy New Readers Press, offer stories that are high interest and low level, written by best-selling authors and perfect to use for adult education book clubs. Save 10% on all Gemma titles during the month of March. Use promo MAR24. Offer expires 3/31/2024.

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