Students from Woodland Middle School are using technology to help others.
Each week, WMS librarian Lindsey Anderson has 25 students go to the library and read books to students at Glenn Elementary Enhanced Option School in East Nashville, but they’re doing things little differently.
Using WebEx, a website much like Skype or FaceTime, the WMS students broadcast their reading sessions to Glenn students instead of meeting face-to-face.
“They connect with kindergarten through third grade classrooms at Glenn and share not only stories, but their love and excitement for reading and learning,” Anderson said.
The program, Read2Me, began with an idea from a WMS parent. Donovan Robertson started Read2Me with the intention of connecting volunteers to Title I schools to read virtually. Anderson and Robertson took the idea and started a group at WMS.
“We are able to break down the barriers of distance and demographics,” Anderson said. “Our partnership would not be feasible without the ability to connect virtually.”
Woodland Middle has been involved in the Read2Me program for two years. Recently, the readers took a field trip to Glenn to meet the other students in person with books and treats in hand.
“If smiles could light the world, there were enough created during this experience to last a lifetime,” Anderson said. “Glenn kindergartners recognized their two Woodland readers immediately and called them by name, which made them feel like celebrities.”
When they left, the Woodland readers were already making plans to return next year.
“Students in eighth grade discussed how they want to start this program next year in their high school,” Anderson said. “Read2Me has made a difference in the lives of my students and given them a way to spread their love of reading and be role models of learning.”