Our Reading Buddies programme resumed this month, with 15 Junior School students visiting the Senior campus library for reading sessions with the older students. The programme, which was started by Oliver Bild ’08 last year, provides Junior School students with a fun opportunity to explore books and gives its Senior School participants a break from their more intense studies.
“When you see the little kids, they’re just so happy to be at Senior School,” says Vickie Yang, who now runs the programme.
Vickie says that most of the buddy pairs come together naturally on the first day, rather than being assigned. Once they’re paired up, Vickie works to make sure that the pairs stay stable, so that the children have the same buddy each week. The Junior School participants get to pick books from their library that they want to read to their buddies.
“This is a great way to get kids interested in books,” says Vickie “It shows them that reading is not a chore.”
As co-head of this year’s Library Council, Vickie was keen to keep this new programme going, not only because her predecessor Oliver was so enthusiastic about it, but also because she enjoyed her brief experience with the programme last year so much.
“It was Oliver’s baby,” says Vickie. “I had no idea how to set this up.” Of course, she figured it out, connecting with Junior School librarian Diana Nason and Senior School librarian Joan Tweedie for help. From scheduling to transportation, there was a lot of work to be done, but Vickie says she’s glad she did it.
“The Senior students love it and so do the Junior kids.”
Here are what a few of the Junior School participants have to say about being buddies:
“It’s really, really fun. If you get a word wrong they help you sound it out. All the reading buddies are very nice.” – Katie M
“I like it! We’re reading good books. When we’re reading she reads one page then I read the other.” – Laura W
“It’s fun because you get to read and play games. I like going up to the Senior School.” – Alana H
“They let us have a tour of the library and pick where we want to sit. It’s very fun.” – Hannah K
“I think it’s quite exciting. The reading buddies are very nice and they help you if you’re stuck on a word. You also get to play lots of games, like Snakes and Ladders.” – Zachary Z