Roberts: The value of reading |

Roberts: The value of reading

This time of the school year is so exciting as a teacher. Yes, I’m looking forward to summer, but I am more excited about the growth my students have made this year. They have become mature, independent, knowledgeable second graders who can read, express themselves through writing and problem solve for themselves. I’ve truly enjoyed watching the reading growth my students have made.

I’m amazed at one student in particular. At the beginning of the school year she came into second grade barely able to read and write. Her reading level was 2 years below grade level and she was not engaged in the classroom. Next week, when she leaves for Mexico, she’s begging me to take paper, books and pencils with her so that she can continue learning. She has made two years of reading growth in just eight months. She is an avid writer as well. Her amazing growth as a learner was sparked by our Reading Buddy Program through the Rotary Club of Summit County. Without this connection I do not think this student would have been as successful.

The Rotary Reading Buddy Program connects volunteer readers with classrooms across the school district. We were blessed this year to have Tracey and her reading dog Otis as Reading Buddies in my classroom. They came weekly to read with my struggling student. My student created such a strong connection with Tracey and Otis throughout the year. She was willing to skip her own recess to read with them, she wrote daily letters to Otis (who would always write back!), and even created a book of poetry for Tracey and Otis for Mother’s Day. My student’s interest in reading and writing was sparked by her Reading Buddies, which in turn, sparked her love of learning.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the Rotary Club and their Reading Buddy program. Tracey and Otis have had a huge impact with the success of my student. Not only have they shared the love of reading with her, but they have also created a personal connection with her that she will carry with her forever. Thank you Reading Buddies for taking your time to help our students succeed.

Kelsey Roberts

Second grade teacher

Breckenridge Elementary School

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