The College Magazine: Great Books for Kids

Juliana Martonffy Laumakis, a St. John’s College alumni (1998), shared her experience as a Junior Great Books volunteer in the Alumni Notes section of The College Magazine, Winter 2015.TheCollege We’re grateful for her support!

“Anyone out there looking to indoctrinate the next generation should check out the Junior Great Books program that’s run through the Great Books Foundation. The Foundation was started in 1947 by some of the bigwigs (Adler, Hutchins, etc.) to promote seminar-style discussions among adults, and in 1962 the concept was extended to kids. Examples of readings include The Buffalo Storm by Katherine Applegate and Luba and the Wren, a Ukranian folktale as told by Patricia Polacco. We’ve been doing the Junior Great Books program at our eldest daughter’s school with 2nd–5th graders during lunchtime with parent volunteers. The kids come having twice read a short story from the JGB anthology—really read, intentionally unknown selections from around the world and then parents lead the seminars as the kids eat. . . . It’s really amazing how much the kids have gotten out of it!”

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