This year’s Pick a Reading Partner program at Seaford Manor Elementary School had a fitting end as students shared books with their partners. The three-week initiative came to a close just before the February break with buddy reading on Feb. 13 and 14.
Classes were paired up so kindergartners read with third graders, first graders were with fourth graders and second graders were with fifth graders. Children selected books based upon their interests and their independent reading levels, then found a cozy spot to read together, whether it was on the rug, in a corner or on a beanbag chair. They were also encouraged to wear their pajamas and bring in a stuffed animal.
Principal Debra Emmerich said that the older students, who have mastered important reading strategies, served as reading role models for their younger peers.
“They are able to coach their younger buddies with tricky words or sentences that don’t make sense,” Ms. Emmerich said. “The younger buddies get to showcase their talents, too, by showing their big buddies strategies that they have learned. Little kids learn to read and big buddies read to learn!”
In addition to buddy reading, the three-week PARP program included mystery reader visits, a book swap, a visit from author Susan Verde and poem in my pocket day. Students kept reading logs to keep track of the books they read at home and in school, and strengthened their vocabularies with word searches and crossword puzzles.