The Freshman Academy Reading Buddy program sparks the love of reading between freshman and students in grades K-2. The program has grown since its start in 2006, and now includes all Freshman Academy classes at C-PP High School. Freshman Academy Coordinator Jenny Quackenbush said, “Reading Buddies promotes literacy and builds a connection between high school and elementary students. It gives our high school students an opportunity to serve as mentors and role models.” Currently, the program pairs a freshman with a Kindergarten through grade 2 student at Smith, Severn, Carder or Gregg School.
Teachers are equally impressed with the program. Tara Daugherty, Gregg teacher, said, “This is a great program and I hope it continues.”
High School student Destiny Elliot said, “I liked reading to the kids and seeing their bright, happy smiles. I also liked talking with them about the book and pictures too.” She added, “I also liked them reading to us too.”
Kailee Gwin, C-PPHS student said, “What I liked most was reading to kindergartners and watching them smile and laugh as you made funny voices to voice different characters.” Kailee added, “The cutest thing about reading buddies is when the child you are reading to will try to read the next line of the book.”
“I still remember when my reading buddy came to our school and I loved it,” said Jason Ford, High School student. “It makes me happy when I am reading and I see the smile on their faces and how they laugh about the book.”
Assistant Superintendent Michelle Caulfield, who designed and launched the program in 2006 with her colleagues at West High School said, “I am so proud to see what the program has become and how it has grown. Not only does it strengthen our connections across all grade levels, but it is a wonderful way for kids to share the joy of reading.”