Shared Reading Groups
A shared reading group is a relaxed space for people to read a short story, poem or part of a book aloud, reflect and then discuss it. The focus is on what each story means for the people in the group. Everyone is welcome to contribute their thoughts, feelings and experiences, but there is no pressure to speak unless you feel comfortable. In a shared reading group, there is no ‘right’ response to a book.

The group facilitator is not there to ‘teach’ anyone else about what they’re reading. Facilitators are there to help make sure the group’s discussion keeps moving, and that everyone who wants to talk gets a chance to do so. Our trained facilitators encourage people to engage with literature and with each other on a human level — developing understanding, fostering deep connections and giving people access to the enormous benefits that reading can provide.

We choose stories that speak to the depth and breadth of human experience. When we select work like this we can take everyone in a group on a journey together, often through ideas that go to the heart of what it is to be human.

This is what is so powerful about the experience of shared reading — it creates an immediate sense of connectedness and community.

Social reading activities stimulate thoughts, feelings and memories, enabling people to reflect, share experiences and meaningfully connect with each other.

Our collaborative reading model ensures that anybody can participate regardless of literacy level or confidence with reading. Through our programs we have seen improvements for participants in:

• health and wellbeing
• confidence
• self-expression
• relaxation
• literacy
• social interaction

Shared Reading NSW is based on the pioneering work of The Reader Organisation in the United Kingdom: