There is a special magic that happens when an older student reads a story to a class of preschoolers. All those happy little faces looking up to the visiting “big kid” are transformative. The change in the reader is subtle yet undeniable as they slowly gain confidence in their own reading skills and ability to connect with their little audience.
Student volunteers from Westview in the Department for Exceptional Children visit different Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES preschool classes several times every year. Recently, two of them stopped into Autumn Lane Elementary School in Greece to meet students in Brittanie Marciniak’s and Stephanie Sekaz’s preschool classrooms. Both groups have been learning about different forms of transportation and community helpers. The older students chose books on those topics and read them out loud.
“The older kids love seeing the little ones and interacting with them,” said Westview teacher Kimberly Stephenson. “In all their volunteer activities, they display a maturity and level of responsibility they might not typically show in school. They rise to the occasion.”
Another trip is planned later this month to share the joy of reading with students in teacher Heather O’Loughlin’s preschool class at Terry Taylor Elementary in Spencerport.
Photo: Preschool students eagerly listen to stories about trucks and boats read by a student volunteer from Westview.