South Elementary hosted a Book Buddies Dr. Seuss day last month, where NHS students read to Dr. Seuss stories to kindergarten students.

Elementary school: the land of naps, snacks, and recess. The National Honor Society students of Prince George High School are going back to elementary school, but not for the fun and games. They are back to read.

The National Honor Society members participate in volunteer program called Book Buddies, which aids elementary  students with their reading and comprehension.

“Book Buddies is a program which the National Honor Society students om to South Elementary School and help students read and prepare for Accelerated Reader tests,” teacher Jenny Brockwell said.

South Elementary hosted a Book Buddies Dr. Seuss day last month, where NHS students read to Dr. Seuss stories to kindergarten students.
South Elementary hosted a Book Buddies Dr. Seuss day last month, where NHS students read to Dr. Seuss stories to kindergarten students. Photo by Lindsay Pugh.

At South Elementary School, the Honor Society members take sign into a classroom or the library where they are assigned an elementary student to read with. The National Honors Society member either reads to the elementary student or has the student read to him or her.

During and after the reading session, the Honor Society member aids the child with unknown vocabulary and asks comprehension questions. After reading the book two more times and answering the comprehension questions, the student takes an Accelerated Reader quiz, which also tests their comprehension skills.

In the past, the parents of students worked with elementary students that needed assistance with reading, but eventually the tables turned.

“We once had parent volunteers who served as our Book Buddies, however parent participation dwindled and became more inconsistent,” said Brockwell.

Though the number of parents helping out declined, the need for volunteers remained.  Brockwell’s son, a National Honor Society member at the time, completed volunteer hours at other schools, giving her the idea to start the Book Buddies program.

“I contacted Mrs. Rhodes, who gave us the go-ahead. Then, Mrs. Allin and I got things going to develop the program here at South,” Brockwell said.

Since the program has taken off, the impact on the elementary students that get to participate has been evident. Book Buddies had a direct impact on the students academically. The one-on-one time National Honor Society members spend reading with the younger students helps improve their confidence and fluency, as well as their Accelerated Reader tests, which become graded in third grade.

“The younger students love having the older students spend time with them. It helped the younger students who struggle reading meet their Accelerated Reader goals,” South librarian Leslie Allin said.

Along with impacting the students academically, Book Buddies also affects the choices the students will make when it comes to reading in the future. The program subliminally promotes reading, a skill the students will use for the rest of their lives.

“Book Buddies makes the elementary students want to read because they feel cool reading with a high school student,” senior and National Honor Society member Joey Reierson said.

Reierson, an aspiring teacher, enjoys participating in the program because of the insight it gives him on his future career.

“I want to be a teacher one day so it gives me a good view on what elementary teachers have to do. I don’t necessarily want to teach elementary, but it shows me what it would be like,” Reierson said.

Not only do the elementary students enjoy the company of the older students, but the National Honor Society members also value the time that is spent helping the students.

“Doing Book Buddies gives me an outlet away from my troubles at school and home. Not only do I get to visit my old elementary school, but I also get to read with some great kids,” junior and National Honor Society member Justin Tyson said.

Brockwell and Allin both have big hopes for the future of Book Buddies.

“I hope the program continue to grow. This year more National Honor Society students have participated than ever before. I would be great if other elementary schools could benefit from this program,” Allin said.

“I hope that this program will continue in the future and that more National Honors Society students will participate. The more the merrier!” Brockwell said.

Elementary school: the land of naps, snacks, and recess. The National Honor Society students of Prince George High School are going back to elementary school, but not for the fun and games They are back to read.

The National Honor Society members participate in volunteer program called Book Buddies, which aids elementary  students with their reading and comprehension.

“Book Buddies is a program which the National Honor Society students om to South Elementary School and help students read and prepare for Accelerated Reader tests,” teacher Jenny Brockwell said.

At South Elementary School, the Honor Society members take sign into a classroom or the library where they are assigned an elementary student to read with. The National Honors Society member either reads to the elementary student or has the student read to him or her.

During and after the reading session, the Honor Society member aids the child with unknown vocabulary and asks comprehension questions. After reading the book two more times and answering the comprehension questions, the student takes an Accelerated Reader quiz, which also tests their comprehension skills.

In the past, the parents of students worked with elementary students that needed assistance with reading, but eventually the tables turned.

“We once had parent volunteers who served as our Book Buddies, however parent participation dwindled and became more inconsistent,” said Brockwell.

Though the number of parents helping out declined, the need for volunteers remained.  Brockwell’s son, a National Honor Society member at the time, completed volunteer hours at other schools, giving her the idea to start the Book Buddies program.

“I contacted Mrs. Rhodes, who gave us the go-ahead. Then, Mrs. Allin and I got things going to develop the program here at South,” Brockwell said.

Since the program has taken off, the impact on the elementary students that get to participate has been evident. Book Buddies had a direct impact on the students academically. The one-on-one time National Honor Society members spend reading with the younger students helps improve their confidence and fluency, as well as their Accelerated Reader tests, which become grated in third grade.

“The younger students love having the older students spend time with them. It helped the younger students who struggle reading meet their Accelerated Reader goals,” South librarian Leslie Allin said.

Along with impacting the students academically, Book Buddies also affects the choices the students will make when it comes to reading in the future. The program subliminally promotes reading, a skill the students will use for the rest of their lives.

“Book Buddies makes the elementary students want to read because they feel cool reading with a high school student,” senior and National Honor Society member Joey Reierson said.

Reierson, an aspiring teacher, enjoys participating in the program because of the insight it gives him on his future career.

“I want to be a teacher one day so it gives me a good view on what elementary teachers have to do. I don’t necessarily want to teach elementary, but it shows me what it would be like,” Reierson said.

Not only do the elementary students enjoy the company of the older students, but the National Honor Society members also value the time that is spent helping the students.

“Doing Book Buddies gives me an outlet away from my troubles at school and home. Not only do I get to visit my old elementary school, but I also get to read with some great kids,” junior and National Honor Society member Justin Tyson said.

Brockwell and Allin both have big hopes for the future of Book Buddies.

“I hope the program continue to grow. This year more National Honor Society students have participated than ever before. I would be great if other elementary schools could benefit from this program, “Allin said.

“I hope that this program will continue in the future and that more National Honors Society students will participate. The more the merrier!” Brockwell said.