Book Buddies Start a New Chapter
Big Buddies/Little Buddies is one way we foster a sense of community between older and younger students at VCS – but it’s certainly not the only way. Students in K/1st through 6th Grade participate in the Book Buddies program, which pairs together K/1st and 3rd/4th Grade students, 1st/2nd and 6th Grade students and 2nd/3rd Grade and 5th Grade students for reading activities throughout the year. Our Book Buddies meetings are already underway, and students are enjoying not only getting to know each other better, but also practicing their literacy skills in a relaxed setting and bonding over a shared love of books.
While the older students often take the lead in reading aloud to their Book Buddy, working on their fluency and expression as they share a story, younger students also enjoy this time as an opportunity to practice their own reading skills, receiving guidance from their Book Buddy in real time as they encounter unfamiliar words and phrases. This individualized attention from more advanced readers empowers younger students to tackle new challenges in their reading, while older Book Buddies gain confidence through coaching and modeling reading strategies.
The Book Buddies program certainly represents a mutually beneficial partnership between the participants, but it also benefits the whole school, as it demonstrates our commitment to helping students develop a lifelong love of reading – and to making them feel comfortable, known and welcome within our community.