My goals for every book club are for members to: improve their reading/comprehension skills, practice social skills, feel a sense of belonging to a group, and most importantly to have fun. All of these goals were met this summer. Members improved their reading stamina, and were able to read more independently. The group as a whole was more outgoing and communicated well with one another. The thing I noticed most about this book club was the dedication of its members; a couple of members had birthdays that fell on a book club night and chose to come spend their birthdays with us, and some families worked their entire summer schedules around this book club.
— Emily, Adult Book Club Instructor

Ages 13+ Years

We’re excited to offer weekly Book Clubs for our adults with Down syndrome at convenient locations near you! Our program is based on “Next Chapter Book Clubs” from the Nisonger Center at Ohio State University. Clubs consists of members with DS and two leaders with expertise in special education to read, learn and have fun together. Members vote on their favorite book to read together throughout the session in the relaxed setting of a Barnes & Noble coffee shop. Each week members take turns reading aloud together. Those with no reading ability can enjoy participation with “echo reading”. Topics in the book inevitably spark interesting conversations that facilitate socialization. Goals for our program include maintaining ability for life-long reading, fostering independence, and strengthening social skills by building long term friendships.

Book club will be offered at different locations in central Texas for your convenience.  Please see the sign up page for exact dates, times and locations.  Book Clubs will meet each week until the book is finished excluding holidays.

Club Leaders

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Emily Hammons

Emily recently received her bachelor's degree in special education from UT Austin. Her experience includes being a habilitative care provider through the government program CLASS, volunteering in the Fun with Science class series at UT Austin, and teaching a class for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities at UT Austin. She has served as a volunteer/coach for Special Olympics of Texas in both Gymnastics and Bowling. Additionally she has interned in a variety of classrooms, ranging from preschool all the way to transition. Emily is planning on becoming a special education teacher in Austin. 

Hatiera Butler Rodriguez

Hatiera is a recent graduate of UT Austin with an undergraduate degree in special education. She teaches a Functional Academics Classroom in Round Rock ISD at Stony Point High School where she works with students from age 14-22 with various intellectual, cognitive and physical abilities and limitations. She was awarded one of the top Educators of the Year for 2012-2013 in RRISD. In addition, she is founding leader for the DSACT book club in Round Rock.