Middle school students spread the joy of reading
Posted on 01/30/2019

Fly Guy, Fancy Nancy, Wild Things, pirates, dragons and bears - oh my! All of these characters piqued the interest of first graders, who huddled around their media center book display to choose one that interested them.

On Monday, Jan. 28, Westridge Middle and Sadler Elementary teamed up to kick off Literacy Week. Armed with a new book, the first-grade bilingual students paired with middle school students who were there to share their love of reading.

Scattered throughout Sadler’s media center, the middle school students read aloud to their elementary friends, who listened intently.

As they read to the elementary students, the middle schoolers stopped to check for clarity. Some buddies also translated the books to Spanish to assist little ones with understanding the text. Then each group took a short break to enjoy juice and cookies, and to pick a stuffed animal that would become the elementary student’s reading buddy.

With their stuffed animal in hand, the elementary schoolers read the books back to their older buddies. This helped the younger students, many who are still learning the English language, practice their sight words and build fluency.

Media specialists Shirley Wallner (Westridge) and Karlie Stoner (Sadler) coordinated to create the event. Wallner worked with a local donor, Crystal Clean Coin Laundry, who provided funds to purchase the books, stuffed animals and snacks.

The first graders took their new book and stuffed animal friend home, where they’ll continue a love of reading!