Reading Buddies are smaller, lap sized stuffed animals that are placed in a basket in the library that children (we call them littles in our library) can sit down with and read to while they are visiting the library. They range from beanie baby sizes to about 8-10 inches tall and are a variety of animals. We have approximately 20-25 buddies that they can chose from.
The idea originated from talking to my daughter who is a 2nd grade teacher and was starting to use them in her classroom to help her students with their reading. After our conversation I thought it would be a great way to help readers in our library learn to read aloud, use inflection, and still have a friend to read to if they came in either without a friend to partner read with, to take turns with the parent who may be helping another sibling, or for daycares/babysitters who may have more than 1 early reader with them.
We have the buddies set up in an area in the library and the littles can come over and pick out the buddy that they want to read with while they are visiting the library. They may switch reading buddies at any time but they stay in the library so that they will be there the next time they visit. January 4th was the first day that we have had them out in the library and we had a group in this afternoon that was interested in trying them the next time they were in after hearing about them. It’s too early to see how it will go but we have great hopes for this fun aspect for the littles when they stop in the library.
- Jackie Larson
Library Director - Gilbert Public Library
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