ASA members and their student partners gather for lunch at the conclusion of the 2012 Book Share program.

Book Share is an outreach program of the Arizona Senior Academy developed by Kristin Murray, an eighth-grade teacher at Rincon Vista Middle School in Vail, and Nan Magee of the Academy Village. Currently coordinated by Don Gilzinger of the ASA, the program has succeeded in bringing students and ASA members together for more than ten years. As Kristin Murray says:

“The Book Share Program with Academy Village has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever taken part in as a teacher. Not only are beautiful relationships created between our students and the volunteers, the extension of the classroom learning is unsurpassed. Every year students tell me that was their favorite activity and they wish they could do it again.”

Book Share is designed as a reading program that involves one-on-one interactions between an individual eighth-grade student and an ASA partner. Each pair selects a book to read, analyze, and study over a six-week period. Each of the two partners keeps and exchanges a weekly journal with entries that focus on all aspects of content, style, plot, and interpretation of the story.

The goals of Book Share are for students to develop an understanding of how an important work of fiction or nonfiction unfolds from authors to readers and to increase the students’ enthusiasm for reading and composition.

In addition to weekly exchanges of journals, Villagers travel twice to Rincon Vista Middle School to meet with their Book Share partners. The final meeting of Book Share includes a visit by the student partners to Academy Village for a luncheon at the Village Café and a tour of Village Long Gallery and the ASA building.