Reading Buddies – Developing Literacy, Partnerships and a Culture of Care.

The College’s Reading Buddies program seeks to enhance a greater sense of community across P-12 in the College while promoting and valuing literacy. For young learners, it allows them to practise reading aloud in a small group or one on one situation with a mentor. At the same time our secondary students develop empathy and back in their iTime classrooms get to critically question the importance of literacy in society and the processes involved when working with small children. As well as listening to them read, students in Secondary engage in a ‘design thinking’ process as part of their iTime elective. This enables them to find out the interests of their reading buddies and create stories with important messages for them while reinforcing their understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals and Target 4.6 (Quality Education – for and through literacy).

– Pamela Curtin (Head of Global Competence)

‘The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.’ Dr Seuss
Whilst watching our ‘big buddies’ reading, listening to, and conversing with their ‘little buddies’, the benefits are already apparent. Our Lower Junior students look up to their older mentors and look forward to their time each week. Buddy reading provides much needed one-to-one support and encouragement. Students are supported by their mentors whilst expanding their vocabulary and reading familiar texts to improve and practise fluency. This program is helping to build a deeper sense of community and provide authentic mentorship opportunities, whilst also adding up the essential ‘reading mileage’ for our younger students.

It is a well-known fact that the more minutes a child reads each day directly impacts on their future success.
– Sarah Wilson, Head of English P-2

“My Buddy helps me if I make a mistake and he asks me questions about the story. It’s good to make friends with a big kid. He is very nice.”
– Hugo, Year 1

“I love reading to my buddy. She is a great listener and very nice to me. I can’t wait for every Wednesday so I can read with my buddy.”
– Elsa, Year 1

“Watching little kids run towards you with a book in their hands, and a huge smile on their face, showed me what amazing kids we have for the future. I re-joined this year with an open mind as I wanted to help and teach kids as much as I could, I wanted them to have well-rounded knowledge, but I also just wanted to see the smile on their faces again. This year I was given a buddy with learning difficulties. I didn’t know how much he knew; I didn’t understand his problems, but I wanted him to feel safe with me. The first time we read he was so excited, he opened the book and tried reading instantaneously. Over the course of the 8-page book, I saw change in him, he got frustrated and angry that he didn’t know the words, but he kept trying and he wouldn’t give up.”
– Tara, Year 11 student