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Country School Students Host Virtual Intergenerational Book Club

Six years ago, Country School teacher Heather Butler partnered with the Madison Senior Center to form an intergenerational book club. The venture was a success, with the seniors returning annually to participate with Mrs. Butler’s next class of students. Mrs. Butler began the group when she taught 4th Grade. Now an 8th Grade history teacher, she reconnects her students with their friends from four years prior. Thanks to Covid-19, this year’s discussions will take place via Zoom, allowing for a variety of members to participate from their homes across New England. Comprising this year’s group are three from the Madison Senior Center; a retired history teacher from Maine; a charter member who now resides in Vermont; a grandfather from Massachusetts; a local grandmother; and Country School’s Assistant to the Head of School Cindy Richar.

The group will read the historical fiction novel The Port Chicago 50 by Steve Sheinkin about the Civil Rights struggle during World War II and gather via Zoom for group discussions. “This is a great way to have youth connect with adults, and the books we read cover current themes such as diversity, inclusion, and empathy,” said Mrs. Butler. 

During this year's book club, students will pay tribute to a longtime member of the intergenerational book club, Bud Cochran, who passed away recently. Bud was a faithful senior member of the group, regularly participating in each session and contributing astute observations about the texts. He even visited campus periodically to read to students.

"He loved volunteering for you," Mr. Cochran's daughter, Susan Gerald, told Mrs. Butler. "It was the highlight of the week and it was perfect timing at this point in his life. He spoke very highly of you and the students. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing my dad to participate and bringing him such joy."