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My name is Janae Thomas. I’m a junior in high school and I am very honored to share my story in the remembrance of Mrs. Barbara Bush. Barbara Bush had a strong passion for reading. Her goals were to spread awareness of literacy for children and families to be able to achieve together.
I have had the pleasure to work with Sophie through the [ReadSquad] program. The [ReadSquad] program is designed to pair teen mentors with elementary students to improve their reading and writing skills. This is now my second year in a row volunteering for the program. Other high school students and I were matched with elementary students by an interest survey.
“Since the beginning of the program, I’ve seen major progress and more confidence with Sophie’s reading and writing. I believe it’s very important for students to have the opportunity to be a part of programs such as [ReadSquad].
I was matched with Sophie, who is a first grader. Sophie is very sweet, hard-working, determined and open-minded girl. When we first started reading together, Sophie was comfortable reading the short stories. The area where she needed growth was spelling out vocabulary. After each passage, there are usually a couple of questions and an activity, which we both enjoy completing. Sophie has become stronger in asking clarifying questions on context she doesn’t understand and she has grown in articulating and sounding out words that may be challenging.
Since the beginning of the program, I’ve seen major progress and more confidence with Sophie’s reading and writing. I believe it’s very important for students to have the opportunity to be a part of programs such as [ReadSquad]. The more practice students have, the stronger readers and writers they will be. This program has not only helped Sophie with her reading skills, it has helped me learn how to support others which is a valuable skill for my future. Thank you.
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