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Looking Back and Moving Forward
Online Affiliate Training Option Expected to be a Game-Changer Next Year

   What a year it's been for Next Chapter Book Club, and what a year it's going to be!  Let's take a quick look back – and forward. 

   "We started to dream big in 2016. Really big.  Like imagining our program someday having the size, prominence and impact of Special Olympics," said Susan Berg, who started her new role as NCBC Executive Director on November 2, 2015. 
"We started to dream big in 2016.  Really big. In 2017, we plan to build 
momentum for robust expansion..."

   "With that end in mind, we began putting the necessary infrastructure in place and pursuing strategic relationships to make those dreams eventually come true," she added.   

   The adoption of Cloud-based technology systems to better manage data and multiple processes was a top priority, followed by the branding and production of a new website, electronic newsletter, Affiliate support forum, and online delivery of training content.
   "In 2017, we plan to fully capitalize on this stronger infrastructure and the far reach of online training to build momentum for robust expansion of our Affiliate network," said Susan. 

   Although the quantity of new clubs has been a primary focus, the quality of the club experience garnered equal attention in the strategic planning process, according to NCBC Founder and Chair, Dr. Thomas Fish.
"...the human element will always matter most..."

   "New technology, processes and systems are important – but simply a means to an end that is allowing us to offer our program to many more people in many more places.  But it's the human element that will always matter most to us," he said.

Club Hopping with Tom

   While vacationing in sunny Florida this month, I had the pleasure of visiting two clubs in Boynton Beach.  Terry Harmon from the Gold Coast Down Syndrome Association has done a terrific job of operating them for the past six years.  

   The two clubs gather together weekly in a mall food court and enjoy a bite to eat before moving into their separate club meetings.
  One of the things that really impressed me about these groups is their fondness for reading poetry!
   "You never know when I might show up on your doorstep..."

  I feel so lucky to be able to visit book clubs in different states and around the world. You never know when I might show up on your doorstep  so don't be surprised (even though I promise not to do it quite as ceremoniously as Publishers Clearing House does). Seriously, though,
please know that your good work is very much valued 
whether I have the priviledge of meeting you in person, or not.

With great affection, appreciation and wishes for
Happy Holidays to all,
Tom Fish
Click on the photo to view a trailer about our new online Affiliate training program.

New Year's Resolutions for NCBC Affiliates
Sign up for the Affiliate Forum on the NCBC website and post an introduction and club photo

Like the NCBC Facebook page and ask others to do the same

Designate "Chapters Ahead" when shopping
at AmazonSmiles


Download updated program documents from the Affiliate Forum

Be open-minded to new ways of doing things to make NCBC even better

Consider adding one more club 
Members of the Next Chapter Book Club  meet weekly at the Park City Public Library.  Below is a photo of NCBC Program Coordinator, Libby Osegurea.
   Each state in the nation has a Developmental Disability Council which is mandated to provide programming that promotes leadership and self-advocacy. The Utah Developmental Disability Council is now using the Next Chapter Book Club program to fulfill that requirement and has incorporated the launch of 40 clubs into their five-year strategic plan.

  "We had been using another model for years that focused a lot on legislation. But the majority of the people we serve are not really interested in talking about policy-making.  Reading books together in a fun environment provides natural opportunities to learn and talk about leadership and self-advocacy," said Libby Osegurea, Program Manager for the Salt Lake City-based Utah DD Council.

   The first club began meeting weekly at the Park City Public Library a few months ago and is reading a collection of short stories written specifically for the Next Chapter Book Club program.  
   Libby likes how the stories are already impacting members.
   "We read about a camping trip where the characters were always bickering. One of our members who lives with her brother said: 'That sounds just like my house!' So she decided to talk to her brother – and in doing so, he realized that he had never really considered her feelings.  Things are better between them now. That was pretty cool to hear," she said.
   "Reading books together in a fun environment provides natural opportunities to learn and talk about leadership and self-advocacy."

   Libby hopes that other libraries – particularly in the greater Salt Lake City area – will eventually embrace the program.

   "Libraries are community hubs that have a pulse on everything and attract a diverse group of people.  Next Chapter Book Club is a really a good fit for them," she said.
Club Member Q&A:

Madi Christiansen
   Madi Christiansen, age 22, is a member of the new Next Chapter Book Club launched by the Utah DD Council. They meet at the Park City Public Library and are currently reading Lucky Dogs, Lost Hats and Dating Don'ts by Dr. Thomas Fish and Jillian Ober.

Q:  Are you enjoying your weekly book club meeting?

A:   I think it's wonderful.  It gives me a chance to see my friends.  I make a sandwich and take it with me.

Q:  What do you like about the book you're reading?
A:   I really like Casey's dog, Tucker, in the story.  It got to hang out with Bob. When Casey lost Tucker, she asked her Grandpa for help. Then Bob called her and told her he found the dog.  It had a happy ending!

Q:   What's your all-time favorite book?
A:   Hmmmm....I like a lot of Disney stories, but I think my most favorite book of all time is Green Eggs and Ham.

Q:  What do you like doing on the weekends?
A:  I try my best to get on the bus to Park City to ride the trolley..  It's fun!  I like to ski, too.  I'm really good at it.

Q:  Who do you admire most, and why?
A:  My mom
because she takes me shopping.  I buy groceries that I need for my house. I live with my brother.

There's still time!  Pre-order by December 31, 2016 using Discount Code NCBC50. Training is required to become a NCBC Affiliate and this is the most affordable way to do it.



Designated by the International Federation of Library Associations as one of the "1,001 Libraries to See Before You Die," the Campanese Regional Library located in Victoria, Australia has joined our Affiliate network and will be launching their first club in early 2017.
The NCBC Affiliate network is pleased to welcome its first church.  Christ United Methodist Church in Kettering, Ohio will be using the model to offer Bible studies to individuals in the community with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 


We have a number of items that would make nice presents, particularly for club members, facilitators and host site managers. Add our online store to your shopping plans.



NCBC Faciliator Extraordinaire!  Rachael has been facilitating a book club in Central Ohio for 10 years and has no plans to stop – even though she recently gave birth to her second child.  Meet this amazing woman in our February issue of NCBC News.

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