By Celina Mori
As McMahon students know the library is usually used to ditch class when there’s a substitute teacher. Although this is commonly the case, students are also able to work on assignments when in need of information. Surprisingly the library holds another purpose that students can enjoy, which is hosting the Brien McMahon Book Club.
Believe it or not the Book Club has been growing in an extensive amount of numbers, reaching up to fifty four members in total so far, which is the largest Book Club has ever been. Ms. Andronik, co-founder of Book Club and Librarian of the school, has stated that she doesn’t know why Book Club has been growing so largely, assuming that people at McMahon like to read.
“ People always say that by the time kids get to high school they don’t like to read anymore and I just haven’t been seeing that.” She commented.
Ms. Andronik has mentioned that she founded the Book Club after applying for a grant to help kids at risk when she worked with one of the school’s psychologist. The following year, the grant’s requirements had changed and the Book Club was not suitable for it anymore. Ms. Andronik then started getting donors choose grants, which is a non-profit organization that allows people to donate to public schools for classroom projects, as a way fund the Book Club. Ms.Andronik has also indicated that Book Club took off, when Mrs. Payton, a librarian who currently works at Norwalk High School, was here. The club at the time had only 10-15 members where she and Ms. Payton would hold the meetings.
Students have the chance to attend Book Club during lunch, from there they discuss about the book while enjoying a lunch that Ms.Andronik provides. A member of Book Club, Xochil Tehuitzil, has described while discussing a book it can refer to someone in some sort of aspect. “Sometimes we get off topic but it’s fun listening to how everyone sees a character in the book that they can compare themselves too.” She expresses.
Ms. Andronik has also mentioned that during the discussions students will reveal what they have learned in English class such as symbolism or foreshadowing. “ It’s really exciting to to hear people applying what they learned in English class with the novels that they read here.” She states. “ That’s exciting for a teacher to see.”
After the meeting the members receive a copy of the next book they are going to read which they get to keep afterwards. The books the members read are from the Nutmeg High School Book Award. The award is given to ten books in the state of Connecticut. Throughout the years, Ms. Andronik has applied for different grants to support the book club, but for the past year she has been receiving funding from the James Patterson Pledge, which provides money to school libraries, bookstores, and book clubs.
Since being eligible for the James Patterson Pledge, Ms.Andronik is able to do special events with the club. Students last year were able to meet author, Libba Bray. Not only did members of the Book Club got to attend but the creative writing class for Mrs.Diaz and a few world literature classes from CGS were able to drop by as well. Ms.Andronik hopefully wants to bring in another author this year and is making plans to take a some members on a trip to the New York Teen Author Festival in March. Authors will make an appearance to explain what they do, also students will get the chance to meet authors.
Overall, Book Club has started to become one of McMahon’s popular clubs. With all the new members and being currently approved for another year of the James Patterson Pledge, looks like Book Club is here to stay for a while.