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  • Noah Lau

Reading Buddies

Updated: Jan 8, 2021

Around 9:30 am every Thursday Oxford Academy students and faculty go up the hill to Daisy Ingraham Elementary School across the street. The students and teachers go to Mrs. Nygard's first grade classroom and do activities that help improve the 1st graders reading skills. On March 15th, I sat down with Mrs. Nygard to learn about the Oxford reading buddy program and how it began.

Mrs.Nygard has wanted to be a 1st grade teacher since she was a 1st grader herself. Her 1st grade teacher was Ms.Brown, and although she doesn't remember a single thing she was taught, she remembers how much she loved her. Mrs.Nygard wanted to be just like her, and that drove her through her entire school career. Her first teaching job was at Daisy Ingram as a Special Education teacher and soon after she took a job opening for a 1st grade teacher. She left Daisy to stay at home with her children for 9 years. She came back to a 1st grade opening and she has been in the same room since. The reading program began during Mrs. Nygard's 2nd year back with Mr. Hayden coming in to read with his son, Miles, who was in her class at the time. Soon students from Oxford joined Mr. Hayden. Mrs. Nygard thought it would be good for her students to have male role models. Once the school year ended they both agreed that it would be good to keep the program going. Two years later Mr. Lasota joined when Harper (his daughter) was in kindergarten just next door. The reading buddy program with Oxford has been running ever since.

After understanding how the Oxford reading program started, and how Mrs.Nygard became involved with starting the program, I asked students and teachers their opinions about it.

What do you personally like most about the reading buddy program?

Mrs. Nygard: Likes the relationship between the older and younger students, almost like a big brother, little brother/sister relationship. She also likes giving the 1st graders a male role model and helping the high schoolers develop their skills communicating with kids.

Mr. Hayden: I love the change of pace it brings for the Oxford community who participate and for the readers at Daisy. I love connecting two neighboring communities by sharing stories and letting our Oxford boys stroll down memory lane.

Student#1(Delaney) Likes when Oxford Students help them read and improve their skills.

Student#2(Mason) "I like Oxford readers because it makes me feel good." Also Mason likes how we have a giant gym and he just likes reading with us.

Student#3(Harper) Likes to be able to spend time with us and read with us. "They make me feel happy."

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