Every year, the students in the senior grades are “buddied- up” with students in the younger classes to create lasting friendships through literacy. With the opportunity for cross-age partnerships, the students improve their reading and fluency skills, as well as reaping some very rewarding leadership and social skills.
Once a week, the students cozy up on the couches and read to each other. They may share favourite stories, poems, comics, and word games – anything goes – as long as there are words!
This experience goes beyond reading. After one Reading Buddy session, a Big Buddy asked his teacher, “What do I do if my Little Buddy isn’t focussed? What should I do?” What an amazing opportunity to offer guidance and suggestions on how to become a leader as well as to understand how important teachers are. The Big Buddies gain skills and strategies for helping their Little Buddies stay on task, resulting in increased leadership qualities and improved self-esteem. The Little Buddies begin to look to their Big Buddies as role models and as a source of encouragement. Though they might be shy at first, the Little Buddies are soon bursting with confidence and excited for the next Reading Buddy day.