Putting a Positive Spin on Reading

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Bellport High School reading students not only serve as role models, but regularly assist Brookhaven Elementary School kindergarten students with their reading skills through participation in the Reading Mentors program. 

During the high school-level reading class, the high school students are taught kindergarten reading skills and techniques utilized in the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, a program adopted by the South Country Central School District for teaching reading and writing. With their favorite books in-hand, the kindergartners then work on their reading skills with their mentors, who are able to put a positive spin on reading. 

Director of Humanities Jaclyn O’Hagan explained that the Reading Mentors program builds the district’s already strong culture of reading and gives the high school students accountability in this important task. The younger students are also always excited to work with the high schoolers. “We celebrate literacy any way we can,” Ms. O’Hagan said. “The program makes reading meaningful to the mentors and the kindergarten students.”