Cranford H.S. Introduces Intergenerational Book Club

"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" was one of the books discussed at the first CHS Intergenerational Book Club meeting. Credits: Kat Ruane

CRANFORD, NJ - On March 14, Cranford High School’s Intergenerational Book Club held its inaugural meeting, with more than 40 people attending.

Five different books were read, with each discussion group led by a CHS student leader and overseen by a CHS English teacher. The various groups were composed of students, teachers and members from the community.

“The Intergenerational Book Club provides an opportunity for all members of the Cranford community to come together to discuss relevant texts,” Marlene Stoto, who oversaw the group reading "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks," said. “The discussions are led by students who are responsible for developing thought-provoking questions to facilitate the discussion.”

Sign Up for E-News

The club started shortly after 3 p.m., drawing in about 15 students and 15 outside members, and ran for about an hour. Light refreshments were served, many of which were brought by the community members.

In addition to "Henrietta Lacks," "The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Pearce" was also examined and overseen by teacher Nicole Conter.

“I appreciated the ability to speak candidly, challenge, and be challenged, especially alongside students I teach in the classroom everyday,” Conter said. “The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace takes place right in Union County, which makes it an incredibly relevant text.”

Other books include "The Boys in the Boat," "Searching for Augusta: The Forgotten Angel of Bastogne" and "The Heart and the Fist." These groups were overseen by teachers Kathleen Shaw, Jennifer Hilborn and Robert Ciarrocca respectively.

“Taking part in this club has allowed me to discuss books beyond the typical confines of the classroom,” Keith Brown, a student leader of a discussion group, said. “I was able to create questions and facilitate discussion with people of all ages, which definitely gave me a new perspective on the readings.”

“It was so rewarding to see the students’ passion as they freely shared their thoughts and opinions,” Stoto said. “It was truly an invigorating afternoon, and I cannot wait for the next one!”

The next meeting of the Intergenerational Book Club will be held on April 18 at 3 p.m. in the CHS library.

Editor's Note: Kat Ruane is a high school student participating in a journalism program with TAPinto Cranford.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Cranford H.S. Athletes of the Week: Anna Horne & Phil Marotta

April 17, 2018

CRANFORD, NJ - Due to impressive performances as goalies for varsity lacrosse, Anna Horne and Phil Marotta are Cranford High School's Athletes of the Week.

Horne, a junior, has 408 career saves. Her current total for the season is 84 saves as she helped lead the Cougars to victory in games against Montville and Governor Livingston.

"I like the team dynamic of lacrosse," ...

Northside Kitchen Wins ‘Best Bite’ at Westfield’s Sandwichfest

April 22, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — Northside Kitchen’s fried chicken sandwich beat sandwiches from nine other local restaurants to win “Best Bite” by popular vote at Sandwichfest Sunday. Northside Kitchen is located at 760 Prospect St. in Westfield.

More than 400 ticket holders each had a chance to taste 10 sandwiches and vote for their favorite, according to Rory Chadwick, one of ...

Dr. Ombrello Honored by the Daughters of the American Revolution, Cranford Chapter

April 26, 2018

CRANFORD - Senior Professor of Biology Dr. Thomas Ombrello was recently acknowledged by the Daughters of the American Revolution, Crane’s Ford Chapter of Cranford, with the National DAR Conservation Medal Award for his work on the Historic Tree Grove at the College’s Cranford campus. Dr. Ombrello received the award on Apr. 14 at a ceremony held in the Cranford Community ...

Cranford Police Blotter: Marijuana-Related Arrests

April 24, 2018

The information provided does not represent the total scope of police activity. Individuals charged as a result of police investigations are merely an accusation. All defendants should be presumed innocent until proven guilty. 


1. 04/19/2018 6:13 p.m.

Raritan Road and Coleman Avenue 

Arrested: Rahman Daley, 22, Brooklyn NY 

Arrested by: Ptl. Daniel ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse


MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...

Politics IS Government in Union County

April 22, 2018

After Bruce Patrson of Garwood was stopped from speaking at the Union County freeholder meeting of March 22 regarding the politics behind refusing to give the party line to a sitting freeholder I thought this brazen suppression of free speech could not go unanswered. A the the April 19 meeting I answered with these comments.

After ten years of following government in Union County I conclude ...