The start of the school year is an opportune time to establish and build relationships throughout our school community. We know that learning can flourish when these relationships exist and that early in the start of a school year is the best time to establish connections.

We know the importance of, and the data that supports, building student-teacher relationships, but providing opportunities to engage school community peers through activities builds partnerships of trust, respect, and sometimes, friendships for life.

At the Georgia School, eighth grade students work throughout the year with younger elementary students in first grade to help build reading skills through fun and engaging activities. The positive interactions and support of one another is contagious and laughter and smiles fill the room.  

When asked how working with reading buddies has gone, first-graders responded:

“I like working with the older students.”

“My reading buddy REALLY helped me out.”

“I gave my reading buddy a hug to thank her.”

“My reading buddy helped me pick out my frog book.”

Steve Emery is the Elementary Principal of Georgia Elementary Middle School. He is a regular contributor to THE FWSU STORY.

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