Lunch Bunch Inspiring Student Readers

Lunch Bunch Inspiring Student Readers at MCMS
Posted on 09/01/2023
Inside the media center at Mason Creek Middle School, lunchtime means more than just a break from classes. Once a week, a group of young scholars known as the Lunch Bunch meets inside the media center during lunch to connect with each other by discussing a book that the club is reading. 

“I began this club as a way to inspire students to love reading and to build relationships with the students in the building,” said MCMS media specialist Jennifer Baker. “And the club isn’t just open to those who love to read. We have many students who come wanting to improve their reading skills in an open and accepting environment.” 

Baker began the Lunch Bunch seven years ago as a way to inspire a love of reading and build relationships with MCMS’ students. Since then the club has been wildly successful at achieving these goals, and Baker says she has noticed that it has had several unintended positive consequences for students who join the club. 

“I’ve seen so many students gain so much confidence that they didn’t have before coming to the club,” said Baker. “After elementary school, students don’t get to spend as much time in class learning in small groups, so this helps a lot of students socially by providing that small group interaction and letting them meet people that they wouldn’t normally meet during lunch.”

The Lunch Bunch is a free club for all students at MCMS. To join, students simply sign up when it’s time to begin a new book for their grade level. From there, students read the book that’s been chosen for their grade level outside of school and meet weekly to discuss the book with others. Each book usually lasts anywhere from four to 12 weeks, and all students at the school are invited to join. 

Usually, each grade level’s group has between 15 and 20 students, but some popular titles can draw groups as large as 25 students. Along with reading popular youth titles, the Lunch Bunch has also written to other authors to ask questions about different literary elements in their works, and at times they will host themed celebrations that go with the titles the club is reading. 

“With this club, I hope that we’re able to open the door to show students how much fun reading can be,” said Baker. “We want to encourage them to continue, whether they’re a part of the club once or keep coming back for every book that we read.”
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