Reading Buddies Foster More Than Reading


(BNN Photo/V. Saibou)

BMU Reading Buddies share a book. April 20th, 2023.

Karli Blood, Social Media Editor

WELLS RIVER –  BMU’s first and third graders participate in Reading Buddies every Friday.  Students are partnered up in order to share their favorite books, sometimes sharing books they have written themselves. First grade teacher Vicki Saibou and Trista Burns, a third grade teacher, have seen many benefits in their students.

Not only do reading buddies help with the skill of reading, but it gives students extra practice with active listening. This weekly practice gets students out of their comfort zone, which in the end has made them more confident in their ability to read. Vicki Saibou states, “Some of my quieter students have found their voices when they get to read to their older reading buddies.” When reading to one another, there is always discussion about interesting or thought-provoking parts of the stories. Kids develop their conversation skills while learning about the book at the same time.

Beyond reading, connections and relationships are being built.  Faces light up when students see their reading buddies in the hall or in the cafeteria. “That glow of happiness and connection is priceless,” Trista Burns explains. For third graders, working with younger kids puts them in a leadership role. By mentoring the first graders, they are learning how to be responsible, mature, trustworthy people while giving them a sense of purpose. For the first grade students, having someone to look up to as a role model is incredibly important at their age.

Both grades benefit from reading buddies in all aspects of life. Vicki Saibou and Trista Burns hope to continue reading buddies in their future classes to make their students not only better readers, but better people.