Learning Leaders matches kids with corporate friends
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Students from two Brooklyn schools – PS 241 in Crown Heights and Intermediate School 392 in Brownsville – got the chance to meet their Book Buddies, volunteers from corporate America who have spent the past six months encouraging them to read more books.
The kids met with their mentors at parties that took place earlier this month.
Book Buddies is a program run by Learnung Leaders, a non-profit organization that works to promote the enjoyment of reading to give students a chance to develop critical thinking skills so that they can develop confidence and communication skills.
The Brooklyn students teamed up with Disney, ESPN, and Pfizer to participate in the Book Buddies literary enrichment program.
Students are paired with a corporate volunteer and both read a book, which they then discuss through a series of letters. At the close of the program, the children meet their volunteers in person.
On June 4, 64 third graders from PS 241 met their Book Buddies from Pfizer at the in Midtown Manhattan. During the school year, they had read and discussed “How to be Cool in Third Grade,” by Betsy Duffey and “Third Grade Angels” by Jerry Spinelli. At the party, the kids and their volunteers chatted over lunch, ate cookies for dessert and played a game of Jeopardy to learn about Pfizer.
The children said they had great fun reading their books and communicating with their buddies during the program, and many admitted to being surprised at how much they enjoyed writing their letters.
Fifty-six sixth grade students from IS 392 got together with their Book Buddies from Disney and ESPN on June 6 at Manhattan’s Lucky Strike Lanes for a bowling party. The group had read and corresponded about “Sixth Grade Nickname Game,” by Gordon Korman)and were able to continue their discussions and get to know each other better at the final meet-up.
Youngsters from both schools got to keep an additional book as a gift from Learning Leaders.
“The kids love the Learning Leaders Book Buddies program. They constantly stop by my desk to if their next letters have arrived and the excitement on their faces when they get one to open is priceless. They learn a lot from it too,” PS 241 Librarian Stephanie Peltz said.
Book Buddies corporate volunteers are trained to engage the children in a written discussion related to their book by Marion Pomeranc, literacy programs specialist for Learning Leaders.
“Book Buddies is a great way for children to build essential literacy and interpersonal skills while gaining a lasting love of reading. The volunteers also get a lot from the experience” Pomeranc said.