The club is believed to be the first of its kind in any public secondary school in Victoria and one of a few in the world.
The aim of the innovative and ground-breaking program is to encourage reading across the entire school community and to use the spaces of the college beyond the school day to add value to the wider community.
Members of the club include parents of the college and some staff.
Each parent member takes it in turn to select a novel that will be read and discussed the following month.
Parents are encouraged to take advantage of borrowing from the library’s collection.
Global Learning Centre leader and 30 year veteran of education in public schools, Sharon Marchingo, said it had been a long-held dream to establish such a book club for parents.
“This program reaches out to people who might not otherwise be as engaged with the school community and generates interest and support from the college community,” she said.
Parent Michelle Lucas said the club offers a relaxing and inviting place where she can slow down the frenetic pace of her usual life.
She said it enables her to not only discuss the book in review but a wide range of literature as well.
“It has reignited my love of reading,” she said.
“My enthusiasm and discussions at home about book club has sparked an interest in my 11-year-old son.“
Maggie Whitaker, also a parent member, said now her children are a little older she actually has time to read again.
“By being in the Crusoe Book Club it shows my children that reading is not only something you are made to do for your schooling but it can be relevant to your interests, enjoyable and sociable,” she said.
Such is the popularity of the program that it is thought that a second group will be set up next year.
The club operates on the third Thursday of the month at the college and has been set up with the support of the Community Foundation of Bendigo and Central Victoria, which was sponsored by Adroit Insurance.