Reading is more fun with a buddy

Posted by Alicia B. Smith on 12/17/2018 2:45:00 PM

Lions, unicorns and monkeys, oh my!

There was a small menagerie of plush friends at the Carl L. Dixson Primary School on Dec. 12 and they had a very important job to do.Girl and dad stuffing bear

These adorable animals were created to encourage families to read together. They also served as a pal for students to share their reading adventures with.

Students and their families were able to purchase a special friend ahead of time. During Build a Reading Buddy Night the young readers received their reading buddy. The gym was set up with a variety of stations where students could stuff their body to whatever fluffiness they preferred, give their buddy a pretend bath and adorn them in a t-shirt. There was even a station where students could select a touch of magic, a heart shaped pendant with words of encouragement written on it that was placed inside their buddy by the school principal and superintendent. When all of that was accomplished, families gathered to enjoy a few minutes of reading time with their Reading Buddy.

The event is a component of the districts Elmsford Basics initiative. The program encourages families to read. Seen as a way for students to practice literacy skills, families can read a book together and point out pictures and words in the book as they read. This also allows the young reader and listener the opportunity to ask and answer questions about the story. Students can also discuss the book with their family members by retelling the story in their own words.

Reading with a buddy “They like reading, and now they have a little buddy to read with,” said parent Danielle Howie, who was there with her children and a nephew.

Her daughter, Kaylin, had selected a unicorn as her reading buddy, which she named Rainbow.

“We love coming to this event,” said Lori Farrell, a Dixson teacher, who brought her niece. “I think it’s a wonderful thing.”

Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Marc Baiocco, said the program was created to encourage families to read and has become one of the district’s most popular events.