As part of our continuing literacy focus at Canyon School we have developed buddy reading, as a research-based strategy, to enhance literacy and support relationship building among children of different ages at Canyon School.
Research indicates that the most important thing we can do to strengthen literacy is to practice reading. When children get the opportunity to read to each other, they are motivated to do well. They develop confidence in their own abilities and value themselves for their ability to share reading with another child.
Older children, who may be reluctant to read out loud, do not hesitate when they are reading to a younger child. Skills learned in reading to others can be used at home to read to brothers and sisters and later to read to one’s own children.
When younger children read to older children they get one-on-one assistance that is difficult for the classroom teacher to provide for each child every day. Older children learn how to help a younger child with their reading without doing it for them, an important lifelong skill.
Another benefit of buddy reading is the friendship that develops between children of different ages. Buddy reading is one time during the school week, when children get to interact with children from different grades and classrooms. It is exciting to see these relationships continue on the playground and in the community.