Parents and grandparents in the Cariboo have been busy reading and discussing parenting books online over the past two years. The fifth Cariboo-Chilcotin Partners for Literacy parenting book club group starts at the end of this month and will run through February, reading Divergent Mind: Thriving in a World that Wasn’t Designed for You by Jenara Nerenberg.
This group is about navigating life as a neurodivergent person with autism, ADHD or other sensory sensitivities. Previous groups have looked at parenting “spirited” kids, tech use and online safety, finding and belonging to “the village,” and reflecting on the growth of an adult in parenthood.
In the past two years, more than 200 free books have been distributed to Cariboo parents keen to strengthen their understanding of their kids and expand their parenting know-how. They have been offered online in a Facebook group for each book study. Each group runs for six to 10 weeks and includes weekly live video discussions, interviews with experts from near and far, and prizes for participation.
Unlike many programs, this one didn’t need to pivot too much when March 2020 turned our worlds upside-down. The original concept for the program was to be delivered mostly online so parents did not need to find childcare or commit to being available for a certain time each week. The videos and discussion stay available in the group so people can watch or read in their own time.
The one adaptation that was needed was to find a way to build some connection among participants when there were no longer opportunities to meet in person. The wind-up events were intended to be a chance for people to come together to have some fun and meet the faces behind Facebook. Online wind-up events have instead included music trivia games and special guests. And depending on the gathering restrictions of the day, the group facilitators can be seen on the screen gathered around a classic Cariboo campfire.
To find out more about our latest online book club, visit the Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy Facebook page.
Kimberly Vance-Lundsbye is the Family Literacy Coordinator for CCPL.