BY CHRISTY PRUST
English 12 and AP Literature and Composition teacher, Lori Stippel is the advisor responsible for the club. Stippel has been teaching at SAHS since 1997 and is now advising a book club as well. Senior Carly Johnson had the original idea for the book club and asked Stippel to be the advisor.
Stillwater Junior High School and Stillwater School Board both have active books clubs that meet weekly. However, SAHS has never had a running book club as an extracurricular activity. By creating the club through the school activities office, it offers easy access and information to students who want to participate in it.
The main idea behind the club is to offer AP English students the opportunity to read, review and discuss literature that may show up on AP exams in the spring. Although the club is open to anyone who would like to participate, it seems that many AP English students have chosen to be a part of it.
Book club had the first meeting on Dec. 13 and will continue to meet every Friday at 2:15 p.m. in Stippel’s English classroom. The first book the group has decided to read is “The Color Purple” by American author Alice Walker. The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel has been a popular read among high-schoolers in recent years.
“The Color Purple is a pretty serious book about racism and the role of women in society,” Stillwater Area High School senior Laura Serier said. “It really demonstrates how culture influences how people think and act.”
According to scholastic.com, students involved in positive reading experiences such as book clubs report more motivation and interest in reading both inside and outside of school. Book clubs provide avid readers a community of other readers who share their enthusiasm, while the social nature of book clubs can engage and develop readers who lack positive reading experiences.
“I look forward to discussing the books in an intelligent way without the pressure of speaking about a book in class,” Serier said. “I think that book clubs are good ways to exchange ideas in a very relaxed setting.”
Stillwater Area High School’s book club gives students the opportunity to connect weekly regarding their thoughts on the chosen book. Collaboration outside of the classroom on potentially controversial books like “The Color Purple” can create an environment in which students can voice their opinions on topics that may not be talked about in a normal class.
Whether students consider reading a hobby or homework, a book club offers new options for all students. In the first year, the book club’s organizers hope to get a good start so the group can continue many more years.
This piece is provided by Hoof Prints, a partnership between the Gazette and The Pony Express, Stillwater Area High School’s student newspaper.