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BRASELTON — With a large number of TV shows, movies, video games and Internet sites all vying for kids’ attention, Braselton resident Sandy Karr offers local students a much more traditional form of entertainment: books.
Karr meets twice a month with elementary-aged students in a small book club at the Braselton-West Jackson Library as they read both classic and contemporary books, answer questions about the content and learn new vocabulary words.
“We’re trying to get them to read because that’s the best way to learn. And it’s good for testing — we try to get them ready to study for that,” Karr said.
At the group’s final meeting this school year, Karr gave out medals, T-shirts and other prizes following what she calls a “lit blitz,” a question and answer competition complete with Jeopardy-like buzzers to call in their answers.
These competitions occur throughout the year and get children interested in reading books they may never have picked up otherwise.
“They’ve loved every book and have wanted to read more by the authors, so it introduces them to authors they wouldn’t have read before,” Karr said. “I’m really thrilled about the program.”
Karr and the four members — Heather Hays, Stephen Galamba, Hayden Dutton and Abigail Timms — meet twice a month and have read six books since they started the club at the end of October.
Students read the book assigned and the fill out the corresponding discussion questions and activities in a companion, spiral-bound clue book. They discuss the answers to the questions and go over new vocabulary at the first meeting of the month and have a “lit blitz” competition over the book at the second meeting of the month.
“I like the book club because it introduced a lot of good books,” Timms said. “It was fun.”
It also allowed introverted students like Hays to meet new friends and speak up about the books she loves.
“Heather was very shy and we finally heard her voice,” Karr said. “She really knows her stuff.”
This year, the club is sponsored by the Friends of the Braselton-West Jackson Library. Karr said she hopes to continue the club next year and will get to work with the younger siblings of current members.
“The ones who are in it are really excited about the club and their siblings who are younger want to do it next year,” she said.