Myers partners with high school for reading project


Kaelynn Behrens

Isabella Barbosa works with second grade students on their reading project.

Olivia Stetter, Staff Writer

In today’s society it’s difficult for young people to find role models. A group of B-A students have set out to change that.

Recently, Bellwood-Antis High School and Myers Elementary have teamed up to start a program for high school students to travel to the Myers and work with second grade students. The idea is to pair ninth graders with second graders twice a marking period for shared reading. For each meeting the second grade team provides a set reading goals for ninth grade student to focus on with their partners.

The idea was first conceived by high school English teacher Mr. Kerry Naylor, and his wife, second grade teacher Mrs. Tara Naylor, while traveling on vacation last summer.

“We wanted to create a project that encouraged pleasure reading and gave young readers reading role models. That’s why our number one goal from the start was for the participants to have fun in reading,” said Mr. Naylor.

Our number one goal from the start was for the participants to have fun in reading.”

— Mr. Naylor

When the whole idea was implemented and put into action, students and teachers became more interested, which brought on board the entire second grade team. The main goal for the first meeting was to recognize and discuss elements of a story (characters, setting, beginning, middle, and end).

Both the ninth and second graders used their iPads to access the app called Epic, an app that’s is much like an online library, with plenty of popular children’s books. Some of the books are from popular television shows and are very elaborate and fun to read.

Some of the second graders were nervous, but after they started to read  it became easier.

“My favorite thing is learning about new books and words,” said Abby Claybaugh.

Trent Pellegrino, a ninth grade student, said working with the kid’s helped his interaction with books and even helped students to read out loud better.

The ultimate goal of the project is to use technology to create self-contained, self-guided reading units for young people.

“By the end of the year we hope the ninth graders and second graders can work together to create a reading unit with activities from start to finish to be followed using the app Nearpod,” said Mr. Naylor.

Mrs. Naylor thought the first meeting was very productive.

“Students were able to begin to form a relationship with their high school partner. The second grade student were well prepared to direct student thinking as they read a personal narrative story” said Mrs. Naylor.

Mrs. Naylor said the second grade teachers are looking forward to continuing to work with current and former second grade students in their literacy growth. The students are very excited to have this opportunity, as well.