Melbourne Reader Leader update from Sara!

Since completing the Reading Revolution training we have been running shared reading groups at a school, a public library and a university. Completing the training gave me a lot more confidence leading a reading group as I had sense of what to expect and lots of ideas for how to respond to things I was a bit nervous about like group dynamics and asking the right kinds of questions. I have used lots of Kate’s tips already! We are in the process now of setting up some more groups at a neighbourhood house and online with cancer patients. We have also been doing some research with the shared reading groups to explore the impacts of shared reading on wellbeing and social cohesion.

Here’s a write up that the La Trobe Alumni news did on the research

We are getting participants to fill out a survey in the first week about their wellbeing and social connection, their reading habits and the impact of the pandemic on them. We are then doing another survey at the end of 8 weeks asking about all this again plus their experiences of the reading group. We will also do a few interviews with people who have more to say. No results yet as we are only about half way through the groups but I will report back ☺

This pic is from the Carlton Library. Me with Sonya Tsakalakis, who ran the sessions. Sonya is a bibliotherapist based in Melbourne and co- author of Reading the Seasons

We ran 8 weeks of Shared Reading. One of the things we asked participants to do at the end was tell us 3 words that described how they felt during the sessions. I’ve attached the responses as a word cloud.

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