Teen buddies encourage first-graders to read

Photo provided by TONYA MARTIN -- Alec Gravelle, a high school student from St. Paul’s in Covington, visits with MaKaya Jackson, a first-grade student in Peggy Fredericks’ class at Midway Elementary School in Tickfaw.
Photo provided by TONYA MARTIN -- Alec Gravelle, a high school student from St. Paul’s in Covington, visits with MaKaya Jackson, a first-grade student in Peggy Fredericks’ class at Midway Elementary School in Tickfaw.

Peggy Fredericks’ first-grade students at Midway Elementary School in Tickfaw were surprised when Karen Hebert’s English II Honors Class at St. Paul’s in Covington visited. Each high school student wrote a biography about the person of his or her choice. The books were published, bound and given to each first-grader, school officials said. They all read the book with their partners.

After reading, the Reading Buddies made autobiographical art posters about the first-grade students, which included questions, a tracing of their hand and a photo of them.

The group then shared cookies and juice. Before the visit was over, they gave each child a gift bag full of literacy tools including six books, both fiction and nonfiction; pencils, colored and regular in a pencil case; crayons; glue sticks; scissors; Christmas coloring and activity books; and erasers.

The project is called “Reading Buddies” and is financed by the Joe and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation for Service Learning.