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COAST Director Julie Agan 

The Council on Aging St. Tammany had clients who wanted to read.

The St. Tammany Parish Library had a book club list and the books to go with it.

The Retired Seniors Volunteer Program at Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana had someone ready to lead a book club.

Put it all together and it’s "win, win, win" for everyone concerned.

The COAST Covington Activity Center Book Club launched last month and recently held its first book discussion session.

Rodi Culotta, the RSVP volunteer, led the group as they shared their thoughts on “Under a Scarlet Sky,” a true story of Nazi-occupied Italy written by Mark T. Sullivan.

“Our discussion format is very informal,” said Culotta, who is a lifelong reader with a history of book club memberships. “I have a list of discussion questions, but only use them if the conversation lags.”

The group has selected its next book: “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed. Also a true story, the book recounts the author’s 1,000-mile solo trek on foot through the Pacific Northwest.

There’s still plenty of time to pick up the book and join in the next discussion. The group will meet March 25 at 12:30 p.m. at COAST's Covington Center, located at 19404 N. 10th St. just off U.S. 190 and just south of Claiborne Hill.

Through an arrangement with the local library system, book club members can pick up a copy of “Wild” at the Covington Center. Books are to be returned to the center once the club has met to discuss.

“It’s great that we are able to do this,” said Jillian Boudreaux, adult programming coordinator for the St. Tammany Parish Library. “We have many book club boxes, and it’s nice to have them in circulation.”

Boudreaux added that the book club boxes are convenient for the library as well as for readers. The library “checks out” a quantity of the selected book to the book club. Members of the book club can then pick up the book at the book club location. No extra trip to the library is required. This is a real benefit for COAST clients as some of them have limited means of transportation.

The partnership started when COAST activity and volunteer coordinator Sharon Snowdy reached out to the library to inquire on another topic. That's when she learned of the book club boxes, and instantly was intrigued.

The RSVP partnership is ongoing at COAST.

“We are always working with RSVP to help us find volunteers and we were so happy when they were able to assist us with a leader for the book club,” Snowdy said.

Win, win, win!

For more information about the COAST Covington Activity Center Book Club, call (985) 892-8530.


Golden Age columnist Julie Agan is director of the Council on Aging St. Tammany. Email her at julie@coastseniors.org or call (985) 892-0377.