Four years ago, teacher Lea Attanasio started a book club at her school for about 25 fourth-graders and nearly 10 senior volunteers from the surrounding area and other parts of the state. The students and seniors have been reading books independently, then meeting in small groups every other week to discuss what they have read.
Accompanying photos to the article showed 93-year-old Philip Michael, 82-year-old Connie Scigimpaglia, and 69-year-old Margy Henderson interacting with the kids and they all looked like they were enjoying themselves. It's a win-win situation for both the seniors and the kids- the kids develop their reading skills and the seniors keep active and sometimes offer historical insights into the books they are reading. The only problem was that some of the text in the books they were reading were too small for some of the seniors to read, resulting in some of the seniors reluctantly dropping out of the program. After teacher Lea Attanasio used a friends Kindle, she realized that the eReader could help those seniors with vision problems still participate and read! The answer was adjustable text sizes! Every book on the Kindle could be like a Large Print book! Though the school could not afford to buy Kindles for the program, there was a happy ending to the story as an accidental email to Fred Kindle (no relation to Amazon) resulted in a collection being started at his office and enough money for 4 Kindles was donated to the school.
This book club is such a wonderful idea, but what's even nicer is that with the advent of eReaders, people with vision problems can still enjoy reading a good book. In the case of the Kindle, not only is there 8 adjustable text sizes, but the Read-to-Me, Text-to-Speech feature (not available for all books, depends on the book publisher) that lets your Kindle read to you.
Audiobooks are a great alternative to books, but for someone who enjoys being able to read books themselves, adjustable font size found in an eReader can be the answer they are looking for. eReaders can make a great gift! Here's my Recap of eReaders I posted this past September, covering some of the more popular choices. And if you'd like to read the full story on the Book Buddies and how they came to get 4 donated Kindles, go to NewsTime.com.