THS Book Buddies is a year-long collaborative reading project which sees the pairing of our High School students with our Prep students to cultivate reading and social interaction skills.
As part of the program, our High Schoolers receive training from The Harbour Village teachers to equip them with strategies on how to read, to engage with and discuss stories and book characters with younger students.
They learn during this program that reading isn't just about reading for pleasure or to study. It is also an experience to share with others - a younger sibling, a grandparent, a neighbour, a younger child at school. This shared experience, particularly involving interaction between different age groups, can create bonds, develop empathy, enhance compassion and reinforce responsibility.
In addition to the additional literacy connections which the younger students will benefit from, the program also helps our older students feel a sense of responsibility by taking on a whole new role as a teacher to their younger students.
Reading discussions centred on early reading books provides young minds with many social and emotional cues that are important for life and yet as we get older, it's easy to take their value for granted. For example, facial expressions, body language, friendships, and manners all communicate so much about what we think, how we feel and who we are.
The Book Buddies program will support the reading skills of our youngest students and also reinforce social and emotional cues for all involved.