Books and brownies virtual meets


The club Books ‘n’ Brownies has begun their meets for the 2020-2021 school year and they are a little different from meets in previous years.

“We normally start in September, but we delayed it a little bit just to kind of get established in the hybrid model and let everyone kind of get their feet under them and that sort of thing” librarian Mrs Brasfield said.

There has only been one virtual meet so far. The first meet was on October 28th and the next one will be on December 2nd. The meets take place through a Google Meet on a Google Classroom called Trojans Read. Brasfield said that the Google Classroom isn’t just for students in Books ‘n’ Brownies but for anyone who is interested in books and reading.

“We are a non traditional book club in that everyone reads what they want to and then when we get together, we talk about what we’ve been reading and what we have read since last time” Brafield said.

Brasfield said that everyone can read whatever they want and it is just a space to recommend other members books and answer some fun questions about the books and characters. She also said that the club is very flexible in that someone can read the same book for months and someone else can read a book each week.

“We only had three, this last time. So, that’s less, less than usual for sure” Brasfield said.

There are usually more members that attend the meetings but only three showed up to the last meeting. She said she is not sure if it is because of being at the end of a virtual day and people not wanting to sit in front of a screen for thirty more minutes.

“Even though we only had three show up to the meeting, we have eighteen members in the Google Classroom so I am happy about that.” Brasfield said.

Brasfield said that she is unsure if more people will show up to the next meeting and other meetings but is hopeful that more people will.

“We will reassess before the January meeting which is at the end of January to see kind of where we are with the pandemic and what level we’re at… I think we will be able to space ourselves beginning in the January meeting and be six feet apart and safe” Brasfield said.

Books ‘n’ Brownies plan on having a virtual meet in December but plan to move to being in person starting in January. Brasfield says that it should be easy to social distance and stay safe with their club because around eight people usually show up for in person meetings.
“I think what’s nice about having it be virtual is we do have one of our students who’s in Trojan Academy and if everyone is virtual, we are all on the same playing field” Brasfield said

Brasfield says that there are pros and cons to being virtual. One of the pros is that they can include all students including Trojan Academy students.

“It’s definitely not the same. We enjoy seeing our students in person and having that camaraderie and we can’t really cross talk at all. At the in person meetings, there are side conversations that will get started.” Brasfield said.

One of the cons about being virtual is that side conversations cannot happen. She says that they would usually happen between many students and they would begin talking about similarities between different books but these cannot happen while being virtual.

“We lose a lot of richness and a lot of that connection for sure without those side conversations and the little chit chat that happens before and after the meeting” Brasfield said.

A lot of the club is about interpersonal connections between the students and because of not having those little conversations, the club loses that part of it.

“It’s mostly about the books but also about the brownies. Thats been the worst part is that we normally make the brownies and now we are using packaged brownies and they are not as good” Brasfield said.

Usually, there are many varieties of homemade brownies there but they only have one type of packaged brownies so they are not a good. Brasfield said that her and Ms Rose both make different brownies with extra chocolate or some made with coconut oil just to have a good variety.

“I look forward to having it in person again but I am glad that we can include our Trojan Academy students in in a more equitable way.” Brasfield said.

Brasfield says that she is excited to be able to see the students in person again. She says that Trojan Academy students can still be involved in the club but it might be strange with some students being there virtually and others there in person.

“I will say that we’re a non traditional book club so anyone is welcome to join. It’s a very welcoming environment, everything is centered around the books so it doesn’t matter what your experiences or what kind of reader you are” Brasfield said.

The club is open to anyone who wants to join whether you like reading huge books or small stories. Mrs Brasfield says that her and Ms Rose are both heavily involved and have very different styles of books.

Books ‘n’ Brownies is definitely different this year than past years and it has its pros and cons. Mrs Brasfield says that the most important thing is that it is a safe space and that everyone just enjoys being together.