New club encourages students to read and meet new people

New librarian Ashley Bennett starts a chapter of Project Lit at Mill Valley for students to connect with one another and introduce them to diverse literature


By Payton Ross

Ashley Bennett shares book recommendations and Book Club information with a member of her club.

Libby Strathman, JAG photo editor

Project Lit is a community with chapters across the world that encourages students to broaden their horizons by reading a range of topics and discussing them with their peers.  

“Project Lit really encourages people to read a wide range of diverse high-quality literature,” sponsor Mrs. Bennett said. “The push in our book club group is to not just read books that individually you might select but to come together and discuss books that allow us to see life from different people’s perspectives and gain empathy.”

The club was started last year at MTMS where Mrs. Bennett previously taught eighth-grade English. Freshman Emerson Esser joined the club last year after being encouraged to try it by Mrs. Bennett. Project Lit helped her to discover that she enjoyed reading.

“I wasn’t really sure I liked reading that much until I found my spot,” Emerson said. “Mrs. Bennett really motivated me to join it and toward the end of the year I really liked to read the books we were reading and I got a different perspective on reading.”

Librarian, Ashley Bennett shares more about Project Lit Book Club and encourages students to join the club to broaden their perspective and outlook on a variety of topics. (By Payton Ross)

The book club is currently reading Born a Crime by Trevor Noah. It is a biography about the comedian Trevor Noah and his experience growing up in South America during the apartheid and immigrated to the United States.

One way the book club helps students connect with the literature is by having guest speakers who are related to the theme of the book speak at a meeting to help students better understand the material.

“We have guest speakers for each book,” Mrs. Bennett said. “Somebody connected to either the theme of the book or an author will zoom in with us to give us a chance to ask questions. Our first guest speaker is one of my family friends who grew up in the same area as Trevor Noah and immigrated to the United States.”

Students can join the book club by filling out the form on the Media Center’s Canvas page.

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