“I could sense that the kids liked the independence they showed by reading to us,” said WHS senior Emily Perkins. “It was cute to see them excited about what they were doing on their own. They were proud to show the big kids what they could do.”
There was also a lesson in not always getting things right. “Sometimes my brain reads faster than my mouth and I messed up reading aloud a couple times,” admitted Hannah Couture, 10th grade.
“It was good for the kids to see a big kid mess up reading too.”
Sidney Childers, 10th grade, was
impressed at the reading level of one of the first graders she worked with. “He was so proud that he could read a big chapter book,” she said. “It was a huge National Geographic book about jaguars. I was amazed!”
Besides giving encouragement to these young readers, some students hoped they would leave a lasting impression. “I hope we made an impact on them and they will remember this experience so when they are in high school they will do this for younger students,” said Couture. Several WHS students agreed, recalling instances when they were young readers and interacted with older students and how inspirational that experience was.
“I had a reading buddy when I was in the second grade and now I get to be that big kids helping,” Brooke Otto, 10th grade, remarked. “It is important for the little kids to understand that older kids like to read too. It’s not just something they are expected to learn right now, but something they will enjoy. You are never too old to read!”
“It is a field trip they will always remember because of the excitement of all students and the impact they made on each other's lives,” Webb said. “This literacy field trip is what lifelong learning is all about.”