Kaitlynn and Earnest practiced tying with a creatively woven shoelace on a page. Other colored or traced letters and numbers. The afternoon of sharing included recreation, reading books, snacking and making friendship bracelets.
Brixner student council counselor Kjaersti Roberts started the Brixner-Peterson Reading Buddies Project 13 years ago to connect her students with their wider school community. The students pose questions to McDonald, who interviews his students and relays the information to them. Leadership students are assigned a “buddy” and then create a book specifically for their buddy.
The books incorporate biographical information about the kindergartner, including details such as his pets, favorite superhero, and what he wants to be when he grows up. They also have an educational component and include pages with tracing letters and numbers, drawing and coloring, and activities such as tying, braiding, buttons and zippers.
“For my eighth graders, it really taps into their creativity and allows them to be part of a service-learning project,” Roberts said. “They do educational things with kindergartners in addition to being role models. It’s just a fun way to connect.