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Literary Connections: Reading Partners at Elementary Strengthen Bonds Among Students

A project initiated by the Portuguese Department fosters a collaborative and inspiring environment, promoting reading, writing, and social skills among Grade 2 and Grade 3 students

In an effort to foster knowledge exchange and deepen student connections, the Portuguese Department at Elementary launched the Reading Buddy Project. This initiative, which unfolded over the past week, engaged students from Grades 2 and 3 in an enriching activity, with children's literature as the guiding thread.

The Grade 3 students played a central role in the project, sharing fables they had crafted the previous year. This experience not only allowed Grade 2 students to appreciate the literary creations of their older peers but also provided Grade 3 students with a unique opportunity to pass on the knowledge they had gained throughout the year.

The idea behind the activity was simple yet significant: to create a space where literature becomes a tool for connection among students. Under the guidance of Elementary's Portuguese teacher, Ms. Áquila Ribeiro, students delved into reading fables in pairs. This dynamic not only promoted the sharing of their own literary creations but also stimulated essential social skills.

Ms. Áquila Ribeiro expressed her satisfaction with the project's outcomes: "The occasion was an opportunity for paired reading, sharing their literary creations, inspiring Grade 2 students, and fostering social skills through reading. Moreover, they shared experiences and built friendships through curiosity, patience, respect, and empathy."

During the meeting, Grade 3 students not only read fables to their younger peers but also shared their experiences as writers. They discussed the challenges they faced in creating a story and unveiled the behind-the-scenes of their narratives, providing valuable insights into the creative process.

In response, Grade 2 students, inspired by the accounts of their older peers, expressed their appreciation through drawings. Each student portrayed their favorite part of the story, transforming the reading experience into a multidisciplinary activity that involved not only written language but also visual expression.

The Reading Partners Project not only reinforced the importance of literature as a means of communication and learning but also highlighted how collaboration across different grade levels can enrich the educational experience. By encouraging reading, writing, and social interaction, the project demonstrated that promoting literacy goes beyond the pages of books, extending to the development of essential interpersonal skills for the comprehensive education of students.



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