5th and 6th class are junior and senior infants “reading buddies” this term once a week. The program is run by Ms Kedian our Learning Support teacher and is enjoyable and beneficial for all children involved.
Paired reading is a straightforward and enjoyable way for more able readers to help less able readers develop their reading ability and has many other positive consequences including enhanced self-esteem, and the development of very positive attitudes towards reading.
Benefits of a reading buddies programme The benefits accruing from participation in a Reading Buddies Programme are well documented both from comprehensive research, which had both a quantitative and qualitative approach (Scanlan,2003) and other international research.
These include: • Participation in a Reading Buddies Programme significantly improves the reading ability and ages of both Junior and Senior Buddies • Participation significantly enhances the Junior and Senior Buddies perceptions of their competence in reading, reading ability, perceptions of difficulty with reading and attitudes towards reading. • Participation enhances reading self-esteem, social self-esteem, family self esteem and to a lesser extent academic self-esteem of participants. • A Reading Buddies Programme will help children to see reading as an activity that is enjoyable, fun and interesting. A Reading Buddies Programme gives them the opportunity to choose a book they are interested in and this is, in itself, intrinsically motivating. • A Reading Buddies Programme focuses on the child as an active agent in his/her own learning and is a collaborative approach to learning which requires less teacher censure. • Paired reading is an intrinsically motivating reading experience and could possibly have a long term impact on how children feel about reading. • A Reading Buddies Programme develops positive relationships between classes. A Reading Buddies Programme has the potential to reduce incidences of bullying because of the positive relationships that are formed between classes and because the participants’ self-esteem is enhanced through the project.