Strawberry Crest High School students help kids in elementary school next door learn to read

by Sean Daly, ABC Action News

DOVER, Fla. — They call themselves the Teen Trendsetters.

They area dozens-strong group of students at Strawberry Crest High School hoping to make a difference in the world. The teens recently did just that.

The Trendsetters partnered with neighboring Bailey Elementary School where many first- and second-graders were struggling with reading.

The big kids mentored the little kids, teaching them how to read.

It was more than just community service for everyone involved.

“It made me feel like I was part of something bigger than myself,” says Strawberry Crest junior N’dia Webb.

The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy started the Teen Trendsetters movement.

Strawberry Crest teacher Kendall Nickerson leads the group of mentors.

“They didn’t know what they were getting into with this,” says Nickerson. “But they were all in immediately. They wanted to make a difference.”

As the high schoolers forged friendships with their younger charges, they decided to do something even greater. They helped orchestrate two book drives.

The teens asked people in the community for gently used books. They wound up getting thousands.

The Trendsetters decided to surprise Bailey Elementary with a free book fair to let the kids take home their very own books and practice reading when they weren’t with them.

“They were all so happy,” says junior Corey Nelson. “Some kids had bags and bags of books they were bringing home. It just made you feel nice.”

Nickerson says if anyone wants to donate gently used books to the cause, she will find a happy home for them. Books can be donated at by contacting Susan Lyons at

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