Reading Buddies

17 Apr

I’m sitting at my desk for the first time in about a week it feels… and as I sit here finishing up a few last minute things before the weekend begins, there are at least 3-5 pairs of reading buddies meeting.  We’ve had a Reading Buddies program for a number of years and although it can be a little stressful to get all the details organized, the kids that come in to work together do an amazing job!

Our program matches up young children in grades K – 2 with older buddies who are in 5 – 12 grade.  We usually have about 50 pairs of reading buddies meeting on a weekly basis for thirty minutes at a time in the library.  The little kids absolutely love getting a chance to read with someone other than mom and dad and the older kids get the chance to earn some community service hours for Honor Society, other organizations, or test-out teaching young children before heading off to college for a degree in education.  The families also often get along very well with small gifts or cards being exchanged at holidays and some buddies even meet for the full two years the younger student is eligible for the program.

As I said, for us it’s a lot of work making sure the reading buddies are meeting, getting along, and both families understand the program and time commitment.  One of our biggest problems was expectations by some parents for the older students to tutor the younger students.  The older students receive an email detailing the program and are given a number of tips for helping emerging readers, but receive no formal training as a tutor and are mainly there to be another set of ears to practice and help with basic reading skills.

Overall, the program as a whole has its ups and downs, but I think the buddies and the families really appreciate the opportunities to work together and it’s a great way to bring kids into the department!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: