Simplified: Steve Hamersma may have retired from teaching, but he's still finding ways to flex his muscles as an educator by leading a book club at Good Samaritan Society - Prairie Creek.

Why it matters

  • Hamersma spent decades teaching English and French, as well as coaching oral interpretation and debate.
  • Now, he's running a book club for a dozen fellow residents at a Sioux Falls Good Samaritan facility with the help of Siouxland Libraries' "Book Club To-Go" bags.
  • Not only has the book pushed him to read more, Hamersma said, but it's also been a way to build community with the other independent living residents. Plus, it's a way to stay sharp.
"If people can keep reading, it helps them keep their minds going," he said.

Tell me more

Hamersma grew up south of Sioux Falls and attended high school in Beresford. He went on to get his bachelor's degree from the University of South Dakota, and later got his master's degree in English.

  • He taught in several schools including Parkston, Lake Andes and Aberdeen before moving to Sioux Falls in 1999 where he taught at Washington High School for 15 years.

He retired in 2015, and today he lives in the Lodge at Prairie Creek, a Good Samaritan Society independent living facility.

Hamersma chooses books based on what's available from the Book Club to Go selection. The kits come with 12 copies of the book and a discussion guide.

Book club participant Nancy Seiler said she reads all the time, but she especially enjoys the interaction with other residents Hamersma's club provides.

"It's more fun to read a book and have someone to discuss it with – especially with the perspective of a former teacher," Seiler said.

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the nature of the facility at the Lodge at Prairie Creek. It is an independent living community.