Heather Treece writes the column herself. She is a second grade teacher at the Hayes Leonard Elementary School. Heather notes that she and her colleagues from many schools try everything to promote reading to the children.
Treece herself says that most of the efforts don’t prove to much results. That was until she came across the Reading Buggy program by the United Way of Porter County. The program provides stuffed animals to children in the first and second grade for them to read aloud for at least 15 mintues per day. The idea is that the children read the book to their stuffed animal.
“I wanted to make sure to avoid kids not being happy with which stuffed animal the received, so I continued to build suspense by telling them I would be pulling out one animal at a time, “The animal meant for your will magically come to my hand!” At this point you could hear the ooohs and ahhhs all over my classroom”, Treece writes. She had managed to find a great way to captivate her audience. In the end everyone were very happy with the new stuffed friend they had reveiced.
The United Way of Porter County Reading Buddies program has already provided stuffed animals to children from 125 classrooms in Northwest Indiana. The question is do the toys make a difference? Parents say, they do. One parent said their son spent a full hour reading a book to his Reading Buddy and was much more keen on reading than before.
Treece’s own kids say they love to spend time reading to their stuffed animals every evening. The kids event want a special Stuffed Animal Day in school as a reward for their efforts.