Two Wyoming libraries have been selected to receive training and support to host book club programs with at-risk youth as part of the Great Stories Club program: Natrona County Public Library in Casper, partnering with Gear Up — Casper College, and Whiting High School in Laramie. They are among 75 libraries total selected nationwide.
Created in 2006, the Great Stories Club introduces young adults to accessible, thought-provoking literature selected by humanities scholars to resonate with reluctant readers struggling with complex issues like incarceration, violence and poverty.
The 2017 theme is “Structures of Suffering: Origins of Teen Violence and Suicide.” Working with groups of 6 to 10 teens, grantees will host reading and discussion programs for three book titles that deal with issues of teen violence, bullying and suicide: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini, and Romeo and Juliet (No Fear Shakespeare Graphic Novels) illustrated by Matt Weigle.
Grantees will receive 11 paperback copies of each of the three book selections, programming materials such as discussion guides, reading lists and program activities, and training opportunities, including travel and accommodations for an orientation workshop in Chicago for project directors who are new to the Great Stories Club.
The grant will be administered by ALA’s Public Programs Office in partnership with the Association for Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), including the Library Services for Youth in Custody and Library Services to the Incarcerated and Detained interest groups. The Great Stories Club has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence.
First offered as a pilot in 2006, ALA’s Great Stories Club has reached more than 700 libraries and more than 30,000 young adults (ages 12 to 21).