Few things are as magical as reading a book aloud to children – for both the reader and the children. In 2016, Education Success Foundation began our Guest Reader program to bring community members – young professionals, donors, and business leaders- into elementary classrooms for 30 minutes to read a story to the children. These adult “reading role models” help reinforce early literacy and vocabulary development, increase diversity of learning experiences available to students, and even provide students an opportunity to practice their manners when meeting adults.
This program was offered throughout the traditional academic “school year” (September to May). Now, we’ve expanded the program to offer year-round guest reading opportunities for students in school as well as throughout the summer.
Thanks to a new partnership with Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, our students now benefit from Guest Reader visits throughout the summer at their EnCompass Summer Learning Programs. Excellus BCBS provided employees with opportunities to join a classroom as a guest reader, and sponsored the purchase of books to for the program. Over a dozen readers joined K through 3rd graders, three times per week during a five-week period to share a story. Each book is then donated to the classroom and becomes part of the classroom library – and students are able to take home some of their favorite books at the end of the summer!
Here’s what readers are saying about their experiences:
Thank you to our Guest Readers from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield for helping our youngest learners develop a love of reading to last their whole lives.