Creating a Book Club

Use a book club to help VISTAs understand the heart of their mission

The Ohio Benefit Bank (Columbus, OH) has a unique way to help VISTAs gain insights into the struggles clients face. Program director Dustin Speakman sends new members a book on poverty before they go to PSO. When they arrive at their site for post-PSO orientation, they discuss the material and launch a yearlong book club.

Members talk about the books during monthly conference calls and have more in-depth discussions when they come together for quarterly meetings.

Speakman had his VISTAs read about poverty. Additional resources on poverty are available on the VISTA campusRead about Speakman's practice of introducing members to food stamps in the Recruit section of the EnCorps collection.

You can also see variations on the povertycapacity building, and volunteerism book lists on a site called Goodreads. If you sign up for a free Goodreads account, you can vote for your favorite titles, add new books to the list, and leave comments.

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