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PES-SHS Reading Lab

4 PES student and two HS student sitting facing each other on the floorEvery week at Primrose Elementary, Somers High School student volunteers come to visit the younger students during the reading lab. 

“They (high school students) come and help us like teachers,” said first-grader Lola. “They’re fun. I like playing games and joking around with them.”

The reading lab takes place in small groups in each of the grades from kindergarten through second. Groups meet twice a week after school for approximately forty-five minutes. There are three sessions each year, with each session lasting fourteen weeks.

“Watching students overcome their challenges and work to break down words and read sentences after coming from a challenging day at school always makes me proud,” said high school student Taylor Bassi. “Seeing their persistence result in improvement is inspiring and reminds me to do the same in my own life.”

HS student with 4 PES students at a table.Somers High School students help to support the reading progress of younger students, working under the supervision of Primrose teachers. They play a variety of different literacy-based games and read books with half of the students. The other half of the students are in another small group with a teacher, working on reading passages, letter and word awareness, and word strategies. The groups switch partway through so that every student gets the same experience.

“The reading lab helps us learn trick words and sight words,” said Lola. 

Earlier in the fall, the high school students were working toward a goal of volunteer hours for the National Honor Society, but after they achieved their goal, they continued to come and support the children. The younger students look forward to working on their reading skills and hanging out with the older students, making the reading lab both a successful educational tool and an activity that promotes a deeper sense of community between schools and students.

PES and a HS student working together at a table“I decided to volunteer because I love working with little kids who still look at the world with such excitement and have so much enthusiasm for learning,” said Taylor. “I stayed because of how rewarding it is and how excited the kids are to be around a high school student.”