During the past year of tutoring, the Buddies4Math program grew to also include more reading in our weekly sessions. We began reading longer pieces of writing and books. We soon found that it was difficult for the students to stay engaged and interested. The Reading List Project was created to improve this very problem of integrating reading to keep the students motivated, excited, and attentive to the reading.
Every week, our Reading List Project meets to compile and curate a series of short stories, poems, and articles for the given week of a session. Each week’s materials are related to a theme chosen for that week that often corresponds to a significant event or date nearest to it. Our past themes for the weekly plans have been Global Warming/Environment, Art/Creativity, Science/Technology, and this week with Fall/Seasons. We strive to cover a wide variety of diverse topics that expose the students to many different fields and possible passions. Through reading short stories, articles, and poems–all different styles of writing–may the students also be exposed to diverse forms of writing and creative expression. Within every weekly plan, we include a section of materials for second and third graders and for fourth and fifth graders. Additionally, we include reading comprehension questions that can periodically be asked and a short summary of the writing so the students can choose the piece they want to read. To take a break from the more educationally focused themes so far, this week we have focused on seasons/fall–which also corresponds to the projected date of the specific list. Some of our tutors have shared their experiences and thoughts on working on this project: