Virtual Book Club Fosters Connection at Spring Ridge Academy
MAYER, ARIZONA, June 4, 2021 —Since April of last year, Suzie Courtney, Executive Director of Spring Ridge Academy, has hosted a virtual book club to help engage families from afar. The mission: Learn, heal, grow, and connect.
After COVID shut down the campus to visitors last Spring, Suzie knew that maintaining a connection with families was a top priority. So, set up with Zoom and the student book list, Suzie invited families to the first meeting on April 17, 2020, to discuss Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. The group has moved through many books, including The Lost Years, Growing Up Again, and The Four Agreements. After completing most of the student book list, the group members brought suggestions for books to discuss.
The most recent book was Thrivers: The Surprising Reason Why Some Kids Struggle and Others Shine. The participants talk about Dr. Borba’s 7 Essential Traits of Thrivers and how to help their kids be more than just survivors in their own lives.
The group discusses more than just the book’s content: they connect the ideas to their process and their work in their families. Over time, this has created a close group of parents excited to show up each week, even if they did not like the book.
This week one of the parents met Suzie for the first time in person while on campus for a family workshop. She joined her friends on Zoom for a couple of minutes before leaving with her family. “Aren’t you all jealous that I am here and you’re not?” she asked the group while sitting next to Suzie, grinning.
Although virtual is not the preferred form of connection at Spring Ridge, it has provided an essential bridge during the pandemic that allowed parents to connect and be aware of what was happening on campus. Suzie plans on continuing the book club as long as it serves the Spring Ridge parent community.
Spring Ridge Academy, located 1.5 hours outside Phoenix, Arizona, serves young women ages 13-17. Founded in 1997 as a female and family-owned Residential Treatment Center, it is licensed by the State of Arizona, and the academic program/school is accredited by Cognia. Utilizing evidence-based clinical modalities with a traditional rigorous college-prep curriculum, including fine and expressive arts and team sports, Spring Ridge has created a relationship-based setting that allows the students’ emotional, relational, spiritual, intellectual, and physical to grow.