Classroom neighbors make good reading buddies.

Since September a relocated Teaticket Elementary School 2nd grade class has been reading with a Morse Pond 6th grade team at the school.

Sixth grade teacher Sue Kelleher and Teaticket teacher Maura Baxter came up with the idea after they became neighbors at Morse Pond.

“It’s was a great opportunity for our kids and her kids,” Ms. Kelleher said.

The Teaticket class meets with the 6th grade team every six days. The time is a dedicated enrichment period at Morse Pond. Since September the two groups have met five times.

“I think they see themselves in a teaching role and a role model position,” Ms. Kelleher said.

On Monday afternoon, November 14, paired reading groups dotted an outdoor courtyard area. A 2nd grader is paired with one or two 6th graders for the 30-minute session.

“In 2nd grade we work hard for students to learn to love to read,” Ms. Baxter said. “This is a great way to get that excitement with reading. They are excited to show off their reading to the 6th graders and they look up to them.”

Second grader Natalia Sterling chose two books about animals on Monday to read.

“It helps me learn more about them,” Natalia said.

Each session the 2nd graders are paired with a different buddy. Samantha J. LeBoeuf was Natalia’s buddy on Monday.

“I like working with the younger kids,” Samantha said.

The 6th graders listen to the Teaticket students read and guide them if they get stuck on a new word, serving as an extra pair of ears and a tutor for the younger kids.

“It’s a chance for the 2nd graders to learn new words and for them to become smarter,” said 6th grader Marcus C. Cardoza, who was reading with Justin D. McNeil.

Second grader Emma Cusolito and 6th grader Julia Mele sat under a tree laughing and joking in-between pages.

“It’s fun to help them read,” Julia said. “But you pretty much know everything,” Julia said to Emma.

Sixth grader Tatum Cox said she also likes helping the younger students read and found an eager reading buddy on Monday with Brynlyn Velardo, who named the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne as one of her favorites.

“I like to read all the time,” Brynlyn said.

The program has been a way for the Teaticket students to feel welcome in their temporary home, said Morse Pond principal Timothy J. McLaughlin. The two classes greet each other as they pass in the hall.

Staff and teachers hope to continue the program at least once a month when the 2nd graders return to Teaticket School.

“There will be a bus,” Mr. McLaughlin said. “I think it has been great for everybody.”

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