Read Across America: An Unforgettable and Fun Experience

By: Jenny Li, 11th Grader at Northwood High

To celebrate Read Across America, the Northwood High School’s 11th and 12th grade AVID program traveled to Pittsboro Elementary to read children’s books to young children—kindergarten to third grade. One cool thing that happened to me that day was that when my partner and I walked into our third grade class, the children were ready to listen to our stories. During the time when we were reading our books, they were listening and being respectful to us. The coolest thing was that we got to make friends with them.  One girl named Jordan even gave me her email so I can be her pen pal.

I am a student of Northwood High School’s Class of 2016, and also a student in the school’s AVID program. At school, I am in several clubs including FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America), Badminton Club, Chess Club, Math Club, Link Leaders, and National Honors Society. Outside of school, I am in a tutor at Nature Trail for students of less privileged families and I help out at my parents’ restaurant. AVID has helped improve my skills as a public speaker. Three years ago, I was quite uncomfortable with presenting to my peers, now, my fear has eroded away little by little like a rock in the surf. AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is a college and career readiness program that teaches underrepresented students organization, time management, studying, and test taking skills that helps us become successful in high school, college, and our future careers. AVID’s mission is to support its students and helps them get into and become successful at a 4-year college. After all, AVID is not just another program… at its heart, AVID is a philosophy: Hold students accountable to the highest standards, provide academic and social support, and they will rise to the challenge.” (avid.org)

Although I like to read, reading out loud to other people was another thing. The challenging part was to read upside down. So the day before, I read the book three times while practicing reading upside down. It was quite challenging the first time but I soon got use to it the more I practiced. I also practiced my tones a little.  It was really a lot of fun. The next day, I was very nervous. I thought it was just going to be awkward reading to third graders. While my partner and I read our books, there was laughter here and there but everything went well. I could tell they loved story time like I did when I was a third grader. We had so much fun, our fifty minutes together seemed to fly by.

During our time together, the kids learned about why some books have black and white pictures and why some picture are colorful and I learned that third graders are not that scary. They are actually very curious. This experience also changed my belief. I always thought third graders fool around a lot and thus didn’t like to work with them but after seeing them well behaved, I now like working with children. It was a very good experience and I would love to spend time with them again.

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