Teaching young children how to read is one thing. Having role models instill a love of reading is another.
That was the goal of students in Miss Clarke’s 6th-grade advisory class, who visited Weeks Elementary to read to the school’s youngest students and gift them books they had collected throughout the year, thanks to donations from Binghamton University and District-wide.
“They really wanted to share their love of reading,” said Miss Clarke of her students. “It’s exciting. Some of the kids who really struggled with reading and writing really shone in a project like this.”
The reading project was the advisory’s community service effort for the year. The class dubbed itself the “Middle School Messengers” at the start of the school year when it began the book drive.
“I feel it would be a good thing and we get to learn about (the Weeks students’) different personalities,” said 6th grader Natalia Ciborowksi. “It’s really fun. They draw pictures and it’s fun to see what they draw.”
The older students weren’t the only ones who enjoyed the experience.
“It was fun because I like to read with the big kids,” said kindergarten student Kolbe Snyder.
“Every time they read to me, I like it,” said 2nd grader Joshua Parker-Bolles.
Parker-Bolles worked with 6th grader Shelby Goodwin.
“Our advisory loves reading and we wanted to do a book drive and have other kids love reading,” said Goodwin. “When we ask if they love reading they all say, ‘yeah,’”
And the 6th graders are a big reason why.
“I wish she was in my class,” said Parker-Bolles of Goodwin.
The younger students may see their role models next school year. While Miss Clarke’s advisory will change, many of the students who took part in the book drive want to help again as 7th graders.