Reading buddies assist Century students to boost early literacy
For some Century Elementary School first graders, lunch time is a time to visit with a "buddy." Twice a month, students are excited to see their "reading buddies," who help them boost their literacy skills. "Reading buddies" is a program provided...
For some Century Elementary School first graders, lunch time is a time to visit with a "buddy."
Twice a month, students are excited to see their "reading buddies," who help them boost their literacy skills.
"Reading buddies" is a program provided by Kinship, a nonprofit organization that helps connect adults with children in the community.
Twenty-five volunteers visit Century school every other Tuesday or Thursday, arriving in time to join their reading buddy for lunch in the school cafeteria.
After eating and chatting with the students, the groups move on to quieter classrooms, where students read to the volunteers and vice versa.
Each student gets to choose books provided by the teachers that he or she would like to read for the day.
Beth Baker-Knuttila, first grade teacher, said the progress of students' reading skills is difficult to determine by having a reading buddy only twice a month. But the fact that students have friends, who read with them, is a motivation for the students to do more reading on their own, which then brings progress in the end.
"They're excited to see the buddy come, they love the attention of an adult coming to read with them," she said. "Some students even skip recess to spend time with their reading buddy."
The program is only offered to first graders and runs from October through April.
Executive director of Kinship Jennifer Therkilsen said first grade age is an appropriate age to start developing literacy skills. "It's an opportunity for them to have fun reading, to discover the joy, to have someone to talk to about the books," she said.
Interested volunteers can contact Kinship at 732-0058 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .