Published: 14:30, 31 July 2019
| Updated: 14:31, 31 July 2019
The members of an adult literacy group were treated to a special afternoon tea as a reward for their passion for shared reading.
Run by Zena Cooper, the Bookbinders reading group meets at Phase 2 Community Hub in New Romney.
The monthly group is for people with learning disabilities, and has been meeting for more than a year.
Tracey Edgar manages activities at Phase 2, and said: “Zena is fantastic with our team here, and we hope she continues to work alongside them for years to come.
“All the reading group really enjoy her session, and all of them talk about the book for hours afterwards.
“She is very understanding of our service users, and will give each and every one of them time to express how they feel about the story.”
Tracey’s words were echoed by group member Michael, who said: “Zena is wonderful and I love listening to her. She always involves us in the reading.”
While fellow member Lisa said: “I love the session and hope Zena keeps coming.”
Run by the KM Charity Team, Bookbinders is a network of Kent shared reading groups that aims to help adolescents and adults connect with reading.
It takes an informal approach to promoting adult literacy, enabling people to engage with and comment on books or poems without feeling they are being judged.
The Phase 2 readers comprise the largest Bookbinders group, with about 14 to 15 people regularly attending the sessions.
Bookbinders coordinator Michael James said: “Congratulations to the Phase 2 group.
“They really deserved their celebratory tea after showing such enthusiasm for and dedication to the sessions over the past year.
“The success and popularity of the sessions show how rewarding Bookbinders can be, and I would urge other groups and individuals in Kent interested in taking part in the scheme to contact me.”
The KM Charity Team offers initial support to Bookbinders groups, and has a library of specially commissioned books to lend or donate to them.
The best-performing groups benefit from monthly prizes, such as cream teas or group pizzas.