Not School is a month long program that gives a small group of people a book and a stipend. Participants will read that book, come to a virtual meeting to talk about it, and have a space on the blog to write their reflections. The purpose is to get people to pick up a book and really engage. The style is tight-knit, short-termed, and focused. All that is on purpose. There’s a great book in their hands and a reasonable schedule to follow, plus a social component. So it’s like school, but not.
The program is run by Seton Hall University instructor and Ten Dollar Books owner Rachel Wagner. She’s been in education for over ten years and designed Not School to address literacy and poverty. Monetary access to physical books is only part of the reason people aren’t always in the habit of reading. Commitment and community are also factors. That involves deciding it’s worth your time to read and not feeling intellectually isolated. Paying the group to read targets these types of issues head on.