Lynbrook South Middle School seventh-graders in Jeanette Roch and John Christ’s English class recently teamed up with Marion Street Elementary School fifth-graders in Allison Sales and Danialle Nelson’s class during a new Book Buddy program between the schools. Coordinated by Roxanne Migliacci, English department chairperson and Allison Curran, elementary curriculum coordinator, the Book Buddy program allowed the students to work together and form a collaborative book club.
The program connected to Lynbrook South Middle School’s “Get Lost In A Book” initiative this year, fostering literacy among students. The classes met four times during the program and allowed the seventh-graders to act as reading mentors to the elementary school students. At the first meeting, students and their buddies completed getting to know you exercises about themselves as people and as readers. Each student then independently read the book “Restart” by Gordon Korman which followed with students forming small groups and discussing their experiences reading the book. During their discussions, the students shared the messages that they took away from the novel. Some seventh-graders also recommended other books and gave the fifth-graders an idea of what type of books they would read when they enter the middle school next year.
The classes met again and reconfigured their groups based on interests. They selected service projects such as designing a logo, creating public service announcements, drawing posters and recording videos to share their slogan, “Don’t Be A Bully, Be A Buddy,” a message relevant to the book, “Restart.”
During their final meeting, the students worked together to complete their projects, which they plan to share districtwide.
“They are having so much fun and are already asking to do it again,” said Migliacci. “The fifth-graders are looking forward to coming to South Middle School next year because they have made all these new friends.”