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Teaching children to read is a team effort in Lower Primary at St Peters Indooroopilly and through the extension of the Support-a-Reader program, Year 2 students who require a little extra help, now have the added bonus of a Year 4 reading tutor.

Learning Support Teacher, Jodi Dew and Year 2 Classroom teacher, Ashleigh Walters, decided to extend the current Support-a-Reader program in Year 2 to include Year 4 tutors.

'Year 4 students have been given the opportunity to take on a leadership role and become a reading buddy in the Support-a-Reader program,’ Jodi explained.

They were trained as reading tutors and reading kits were created for each tutor.

‘They learned about early reading behaviours and how to respond to children when listening to them read, which included how to support their reading using the Pause, Prompt, Praise model and by giving feedback and prompting with clues,’ Jodi said.

The Year 4 tutors were matched with Year 2 students according to needs and personalities and were timetabled to read together three times a week.

After lunch, the Year 4 tutors find a quiet spot to sit with their Year 2 buddy to share a new book together, retell a favourite, discuss the meanings of new words, make predictions and enjoy their time together.

‘This is an opportunity for students to read regularly with a supportive buddy in a one-on-one situation by providing a positive, enriching experience and promoting a love of reading in a language rich environment,’ Jodi said.

Each Year 2 student has a different goal such as improving fluency, expanding the English vocabulary, increasing confidence and self-esteem. Additional benefits include greater enjoyment of reading, independence and building relationships across the year levels.

The Years 2 and 4 students look forward to their reading time together,’ Jodi said with satisfaction.

‘Both are totally engrossed and have thoroughly enjoyed the bond they share.’