Summer reading is best with a buddy at Breakfast Club

MILFORD — We’ve all been taught that it’s a good idea to have a buddy when you swim, and it sure is nice to have a buddy when you’re scared.  But at The Breakfast Club in Milford, the best kind of buddies are Reading Buddies.

Reading Buddies is a program offered by Read Aloud Delaware which pairs school-age children with pre-school students for a one-on-one reading experience.

A statewide children’s literacy organization founded in 1983, Read Aloud Delaware is dedicated to ensuring that each preschool child in the state is regularly read to one-on-one.  Most of the year that goal is accomplished in Sussex County with over 230 adult volunteers.

But in the summer months, older students in child care facilities around the county like The Breakfast Club take time to read with younger students.  It’s a win-win situation, according to Gaye Carter, a teacher at The Breakfast Club.

“For the older students,” says Ms. Carter, “it encourages them to read throughout the summer to keep up their reading skills.  And for the younger children, it’s all about kindergarten readiness.  They learn to be able to sit and listen to a story.  And being able to ask questions about the story develops cognitive skills.”

The National Council of Teachers of English reports that students’ fluency is increased both by reading aloud and by listening to other readers.

For the young readers and listeners at The Breakfast Club, it’s all about having some fun.  “I like reading,” explains nine-year-old Hayden Chisenhall.  “I’m reading ‘The Magic Treehouse’ right now.  It has inspired me to go on adventures,” she adds.

Samantha Caiola, four, learned to love being read to from bedtime stories with her mother and now enjoys listening to the older children like Hayden read her books like her favorite, “The Cat in the Hat.”

Brothers Quentin, eight, and five-year old Grayson Huff enjoy reading together.  “I like that I get to spend time with my brother,” says Quentin.

Cade Carter, seven, likes the way the younger students really listen and pay attention.  He enjoys letting them turn the pages in the books they read together.  Four-year-old Aiden Burgholzer couldn’t agree more.  “Turning the pages is my favorite part,” he reports.

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