Beary Patch Preschool students had guest readers visit their classroom and share favorite stories with them. Middle Ager Caleb Nerstad reads to Hailey Norman.<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->
Beary Patch Preschool students had guest readers visit their classroom and share favorite stories with them. Middle Ager Caleb Nerstad reads to Hailey Norman.

<
1
2
>
Reading is a pastime that can be enjoyed by all ages, from the very youngest child sitting in a parent's lap to great-grandparents hearing a story read by their great-grandchildren.

Sharing a story is a great way to excite pre-readers about reading and a perfect way for readers to practice their reading aloud skills. Students at Beary Patch Preschool recently had special guest readers visit their classroom.

"I have seen Reading Buddies used in other schools, and I thought it would be a fun way for my preschool student to make connections with older students," explained Beary Patch Preschool teacher Bethany Bergsgaard.

Bergsgaard approached Middle Ages reading teacher Laurie Moen about having some of her students visit the preschool and read to the students.

For the timeslot that Bergsgaard requested, the fifth-grade students were available. The fifth-graders paired off with the preschoolers and took turns reading one of their favorite books that they brought from home or books that were available in the preschool classroom.

"Reading to the younger children is great practice for oral reading with expression and learning to make adjustments for little ears and attention spans," commented Moen.

"It gives my students confidence about their reading skills and confidence in working with small ones."

Each spring for the past several years, all of the Middle Age students (grades four through sixth) have the opportunity to read to kindergarten through second-grade students at Spring Grove Public School.

This is a service project that the Middle Age students look forward to each year.

The preschool students were 4 and 5-year-olds and will be attending kindergarten next fall.

"It is important for these preschoolers to get used to being around older students and making these connections to the 'big school,'" added Bergsgaard. "It helps in making the transition to kindergarten a positive one."

"Mrs. Moen's students did a great job reading. Some of the preschoolers were nervous at first to go with the older kids to read, but they warmed up to them after they became interested in the books being read.

"It was great for the preschoolers to see the older kids enjoying the books - it helps them be even more excited about books when they see the older kids excited about reading."

Bergsgaard plans to have older guest readers each month in her preschool classroom to give her students continued exposure to other students and the excitement that comes from reading together.