Kids sharing reading together is not a dream, but a reality at Putnam Valley Middle School. During the Parents as Reading Partners (PARP) annual 4-week program 7th grade students were paired up with 5th grade students to read once a week during the twenty-minute morning DEAR (“Drop Everything And Read”) time, which is a staple of the PVMS weekly schedule. Coordinator Cheryl Kahn observed, “It was exciting to see the students talking about reading during DEAR time. The students really enjoyed being able to read with someone new. It also helped to make connections between 7th and 5th graders who, in most cases, didn't know each other. Now when they see each other around school, I hear them say, ‘Hi reading buddy!’”
The program worked so well that PVMS teachers plan to continue it for the rest of the year, even though the formal PARP program is over for 2009. Of course, that is the goal of PARP -- to get everyone sharing reading as an enjoyable, lifelong, habit.