Something Beautiful 2

Book Club Provides Fun, Sisterhood and Self Esteem for Local Girls

As we kiss the final days of summer heat goodbye, you can find 10 eight year old girls on Cascade Road on the southwest side of Atlanta, GA, gathering to read their most recent book selection. They are always filled with excitement to share their thoughts about what was read and an added bonus to the story is enjoying some tasty treats together. It all began on September 13, 2015 with the inaugural meeting that would become the Something Beautiful Book Club for Girls.

This unique book club is the brainchild of Miss Myla Randall, daughter of Dr. Janine Epps Randall.  A few years ago, Myla was six years old and became fascinated with her mother’s Sunday afternoon book club meetings. She observed their discussions and how much fun they had sharing ideas and having delicious food.  After a typical afternoon meeting, Myla asked her mother to help her form a book club for her friends. She thought that she would have a lot of fun reading books with her friends too.

Myla didn’t want to just read books, but she was interested in reading books with people who looked like her in the story. Dr. Randall thought this was an excellent idea and called several of Myla’s friends’ parents and invited their daughters to join.  The group name was suggested by one book club friend’s mother, Dr. RJ Verwayne. Membership for the Something Beautiful Book Club was made simple by having each girl receive a personalized bookmark as her official membership card.

The group of girls in the book club include: Myla Randall, Adriana Verwayne, Alyn Baudy, Sophia Ponce, Raina Gantt, Anaiah Roberts, Gabrielle Domengeaux, Ava Taylor, Linda Ward, and Alexandria Taylor. The girls meet quarterly, and choose a book with subject matter that interests them.  They have lively discussions, eat a healthy catered lunch and complete an art project that incorporates themes from each book they read.  In this safe and caring book club environment, the girls have formed a lasting friendship and they have a place to learn how to handle peer pressure, seek positive ways to face challenges at school, with reinforcing images to promote self -acceptance and positive body images. With every book, the girls explore new ideas, improve their reading skills and develop public speaking techniques. As a culmination of activities that have been accomplished in the book club, they visited the Decatur Book Festival to meet local authors and other book enthusiasts. The festival will be another way to help book club members have enriching experiences through the Something Beautiful Book Club which is meant to empower the girls to read stories and also be the teller of their own stories.