05/16/12 — Fourth-graders help kindergartners read

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Fourth-graders help kindergartners read

By Staff Reports
Published in News on May 16, 2012 1:46 PM

A cross-age reading program that paired kindergarten students with fourth- or fifth-graders has received high marks from UNC-TV and PBS.

For six weeks, students at Meadow Lane Elementary School participated in the Martha Speaks Reading Buddies Program, becoming the first school in the state to partner with UNC-TV. UNC-TV was chosen from among 20 public broadcasting stations nationally to receive the $4,000 grant and piloted the program from February to April at the school.

Reading buddies were matched up to improve vocabulary and foster a love of books and reading. As part of their sessions, students watched a "Martha Speaks" episode, read and discussed a related picture books, played a game or activity, and then wrote in a journal.

The school recently held a celebration ceremony, during which participants received certificates and backpacks from UNC-TV and each "big buddy" presented his kindergarten partner with a friendship bracelet.

Pamela Hines-Orr, a representative of UNC-TV and PBS, declared the program a success.

"You have made history," she told those in the audience. "You are the first school in North Carolina to do a reading buddies program."

During the assembly, the character of Martha Speaks also turned out to greet the students.