Posted on 04/02/2015
BookPalsStarting Tuesday, March 17th, Fletcher Maynard has had the privilege of hosting members of the Screen Actor’s Guild BookPALS program in some of our classrooms. BookPALS is a free program that connects actors that want to give back to their communities, to local schools. The program’s mission is to use the unique performance abilities of its members to get kids excited about reading. The BookPALS (actors) connect with classrooms in neighborhood schools and “perform” regular read-alouds for the students.

This semester we have had BookPals in six of our classrooms: Ms. O’Sullivan, Ms. Kempton, Ms. Ring, and Ms. Hogan-Jackson in the lower grades, and Ms. Sullivan and Ms. Martin in the upper grades. The BookPals have been fabulous and our students have enjoyed the expressive and animated ways in which they read the stories. Ms. Sullivan remarked that her students enjoyed how Ms. Chan, their BookPal, “performs the books she shares by using different voices and LOTS of expression. Their excitement is palpable on Tuesdays when she walks into out classroom door!” Ms. Sullivan invites everyone to ask students from room 307 about their favorite book that Ms. Chan has read to them.

Ms. Ferrari, another of the BookPals, is also excited about the opportunity to read to the students. “Their teachers have clearly laid a great foundation. All the students seem to love being read to, and I’m honored to be able to witness their joy for books”. She looks forward to each week’s session. Beyond the excitement of “giving back” by sharing the joy of reading with our students, one of our volunteers has cherished the experience of reading to our students because “it’s new territory” for someone “who was not read to as a child”. The BookPALS experience can provide the readers with the opportunity to stretch themselves personally and professionally. As volunteers, they sometimes end up getting as much, if not more, than the students from the experience!

Thank you, BookPALS!
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