History: Reflections from CS200 ☆

| August 25, 2011

In 2006, the TC Reading & Math Buddies Program was in place at CS 200. Below are some quotes–from administrators, teachers, and Buddies–reflecting on their shared experience.

“The power of the TC Buddies is the continuity and consistency of their work. They are an integral part of CS 200. They not only build literacy and math skills, but have formed partnerships with the teachers and staff. Many people volunteer for a day, or a week. The TC Buddies are here every day for the whole semester—even when it snows.
Our children look forward to their time with their TC Buddies.”

Renee Belton, Principal

“Having the Reading Buddies is a blessing. They have not only provided real options and guidance to the students, they have also provided me with meaningful information and suggestions. I love to have them as long as the program exists.”
Dr. Charles Anuolam, A.P.

“The smiles on the faces of our young students tells me how delighted they are to have individualized attention given to their growing reading skills. In addition, the fact that several of our Reading Buddies have returned for a second year also tells me that our partnership with Teachers College is a positive, two-way experience.”
Nadine Kellogg, A.P.

“It is Good. A Plus. The children are doing so much better. They have more than one voice that reads to them. It definitely helps. The end result is there is improvement in the children’s reading.”
Mrs. Deygoo, 1st Grade

“It really has helped me out with my lowest readers. I have seen them all make progress because of the Reading Buddies program.”
Mr. Snider, 3rd/4th Grade

“Each morning, I get to CS 200 before the children in room 237. I wait by their door and as their teacher leads them into their classroom, they all yell out “Good morning, Miss Kate!” followed by, “Can I go first? Can I go first?” Not only do my 6 buddies I read with ask to come read first, but the other children ask, “Can I go today? Can I read today?” I choose the child whose turn it is to go first and we set up our desk and pick our books. Sometimes, when one of my buddies isn’t there, I get to read with a new buddy from the class.”
Success story.
“I have been reading with B., who has a very good memory and knows many sight words. While he knows the individual sounds that letters make, he has always struggled with relating the combination of sounds to a specific word. He sounds out each letter, but often then guesses at the final word. In the last week, however, B. has been able to put the sounds together and read the word using the sounds. Upon doing this, he came to a realization that he had done what he’d been trying to do all year and is now very proud of himself. He will look at me and tell me that he’s going to “read” a word and not only “guess.” He is very proud of the progress he has made and seems less reluctant to attempt longer words.”

Kate Finkenstaedt, Reading Buddy

“I know four different routes to CS 200, and depending how I feel each day, I might take the A/B/C/D train, the #3 train, walk, or take the bus. I’ve traveled to school in the rain, snow, and sunny weather. What does remain constant is the welcoming greeting of “Good morning Miss Becky” I hear from Mr. S’s bilingual 3rd and 4th grade class when I arrive. And that’s when I know I’m ready to meet with my six students, and see what challenges, accomplishment, and even the frustrations we will have that day.
Out of my six 3rd and 4th grade students, E. was the furthest behind. When we started in September, she didn’t know the full alphabet. She still enjoyed our time together though, and continued to greet me with a smile and a hug each day. In January, E.  read her first book. After she finished, I exclaimed “I’m so proud of you!” She looked at me and said “I’m proud of you too! You taught me!” It was definitely my best moment as a Reading Buddy.”

Rebecca Ladner, Reading Buddy

“My day starts off with a warm welcome from Ms. M’s first grade class. What a great way to start the day although a barrage of “may I please go first today, Miss Abby” questions quickly follows. The first thing I do with my buddy is spend a few minutes talking about general things such as how they are feeling and anything they would like to share. I feel this specific attention has proven to my buddies how much I care and that what they say is listened to and valued. We get such a kick out of sharing stories about our likes and dislikes, similarities and differences. Oftentimes I wonder who is learning more in this process, them or me! After our initial chat we begin our reading. I have my buddies reading out of preselected books based on their reading level. We work together sounding out words and summarizing what takes place in the story. Next, it is my turn to model proper reading and show the enjoyment of reading to them. I make it a point to read a book of their choice. I can honestly say that all of my buddies love being read to one can almost see their sponge like brains soaking in every word. My day ends with many “see you tomorrow’s”.”
Abigail Pestazolli Reading Buddy

“It’s Monday morning. I arrive by the 3 train to CS 200. I clock in by 8:30 a.m., full of ideas and reading books in hand. I go to the library, arrange the desks, and select the reading books for the day. I then proceed to my assigned classroom, Room 315.
As soon as I enter the classroom, everyone says, “Hi, Miss Kimberley!” R., one of 23 students in the class, raises his hand and shouts, “Pick me, Pick me!” Unfortunately, I have to tell him that I can’t pick him to read with me today because I am only allowed to read with my six reading buddies assigned by his teacher. His face begins to drop just as my heart does too.
While this is happening, several of my reading buddies are rushing over to me and scrambling to read with me first. I calmly tell them that each reading buddy will take turns reading with me first, but that it is C.’s turn to go first today. The other reading buddies groan, but return to their desks. As C. and I head to the library, I begin to ask her about her weekend.

When I begin to talk to her about the new book we will be reading, she begins to skip alongside me as we walk, and my heart begins to skip too.”
Kimberly Chandler, Reading Buddy

Reposted from: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/centers/edzone/schools/quotes2006.html