By: Rebecca Hamby, Tome Society Co-founder and It List Chair
The Tome Society, a new student literacy society focusing on multiple literacies that allow students to read, write, and interact across a range of platforms, takes the local school Book Club to a new level including competitions and student creations; Tome Society activities directly support the Common Core Literacy Standards.
The Tome Society was created in 2012 in a grassroots effort by the leadership committee - Jennifer Parker, Rebecca Hamby, and Shelby Day - all media specialists in Georgia. Parker, Hamby, and Day saw a need for a more robust school Book Club and set out to develop activities and events that would support the current efforts of Book Club sponsors across the country through a formal organization with adviser support and an interactive student community.
The Tome Society serves grades six through twelve. Middle schools sponsor Junior Tome Society chapters, while high schools have Tome Society chapters. Eleventh and twelfth graders can be initiated into the Tau Omicron Mu Epsilon honor society if they meet certain chapter and academic requirements after at least one year of active membership in Tome Society.
Tome Society members participate in a wide variety of activities including conferences, rallies, competitions, and philanthropic efforts. Students have the opportunity to compete in such events as creative writing, video and website creation, Reading Bowl competition, and chapter service projects. Tome Society chapters can also choose to sponsor niche literacy groups within their chapters, such as Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month), poetry, gaming, and anime groups. Each year Tome Society chapters can join in hosting Tome Literacy Week in their schools to celebrate all facets of literacy.
Many of the Tome Society activities, including Reading Bowl competitions, are centered on the Tome Society It List, a list of twenty books selected as excellent reads for teens. According to Rebecca Hamby, Tome Society It List Chair, the goal for the Tome Society It List is to provide teens with a list of recently published, well-written, engaging novels they and the adults in their lives can trust to be awesome reads without worrying about excessive strong language and other questionable content. The Tome Society believes in intellectual freedom and strives to protect it, but the leadership team recognized a need for a Young Adult Literature award list that promotes high quality, clean books; for this reason, the It List was developed. See more about the It List as well as current and past It List nominees at www.tomesociety.org/it-list.
The Tome Society will host their first annual State Conference at East Hall High School in Gainesville, Georgia on April 1st from 9:00am to 2:00pm. Tome State Conference will wrap up the 2013-2014 year and kick-off the 2014-2015 activities. All interested middle and high school book clubs are invited to attend. This is a chance to check out Tome Society if you are interested in starting a chapter and get your students excited about Tome for 2014-2015! Additionally, all interested potential Tome Society advisers are welcome to attend individually to experience firsthand what Tome Society is about. Please email email@example.com if you are interested in attending.
The Tome Society is also accepting applications from teachers and Media Specialists interested in serving on administrative committees such as: It List selection, competition judging, contest development, curriculum, and others. To apply to serve on a Tome Society committee or to charter a Junior Tome or Tome Society chapter at your school, please visit www.tomesociety.org. For more information on the Tome Society you may contact firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow the Tome Society on social media - @tomesociety.