Last week, a fifth grader named Boudewing was tossing a balloon around the classroom. A bored kid causing trouble? No, a leader getting the attention of his peers. Boudewing is one of 18 student reading promoters bringing new ideas to reading lessons in San Miguel Escobar.
Activities that get attention
With that toss of the balloon, Boudewing had started a game of hot potato that engaged the whole class. He told the students to keep tossing until he called time. When he did, he asked the student holding the balloon to pop it and share the note inside. “Read aloud a rule,” said the note. The student did. And with the class’s full attention, Boudewing led students through a review of the rules, things like being respectful and waiting one’s turn to speak.
Giving and receiving
Common Hope education promoter Lorena Lopez Pio was working alongside the student promoters. She says the idea to give students a leadership role came from Common Hope promoters like her in the San Miguel Escobar schools. “What better way to get kids interested in reading than to have their peers participate in a group that sparks interest in reading,” she says. “I think it’s been a great experience for all the students that have participated.”
The student promoters, all in fifth and sixth grade, help our education promoters with the lessons for the early primary grades, first through third. They contribute ideas to lesson planning, and they help facilitate the lessons in the classroom. Each student dedicates two hours a week to the role. The goal is that over the course of the year, they can slowly take on more responsibility so that by the end of the year, they can facilitate a whole reading lesson on their own.
Spreading the love of education and reading
It has been a great experience for all involved thus far. Says student promoter Vivian, “I really like to spend time with kids, reading with them and doing different activities. I like to share reading with them. I feel good when I read with kids because we share the story, it’s not just me reading and enjoying it by myself.
Says Common Hope education promoter Lorena, “The student promoters have so many good ideas. When we plan, we teach them things, and they teach us things. We learn things like what kids like and are interested in,” she says.
Many of the student promoters have an interest in education—both Boudewing and Vivian want to be teachers—so they bring this enthusiasm to the position and gain a great early introduction to the profession. All of them have one common asset that they bring to the role: they all love to read. Their enthusiasm is surely infectious, and as we all know, the reading bug is a great one to share. Thanks to all the student promoters for the great work.
More photos of the reading activity led by Boudewing, Vivian, and Lorena: