In Denver Public Schools, we have reached the halfway point of the academic school year and it has been an amazing journey so far. The students participating in the Power Lunch Reading Program have made progress in their literacy skills and shown a tremendous amount of respect to their reading buddies that visit each week. The Power Lunch volunteers have been amazing in engaging their student in order to ensure their success in the program.
To recognize the students and their buddies for their hard work thus far, we decided to host a celebration of achievement during the last reading session before winter break. The goal of celebrating was to give the students and their buddies some time to unwind and reflect on their Power Lunch experiences, have a healthy snack, and work on some fun winter-themed crossword puzzles and word searches. It was also during these last sessions that the volunteers showed tremendous generosity and compassion. Every volunteer gave a brand new book to his or her student!
One common misconception about education is that learning only takes place at school. However, learning at home is also critical to a student’s academic success. Having books at home allows students to reinforce the skills they learn at school. It also allows them to develop stronger, healthier, and more productive habits such as reading a book instead of playing a video game or watching television. By giving each student a high quality book at their reading level, the volunteers are helping ensure the students have the tools necessary to improve their literacy skills at school and at home.
One of the many things we look forward to in the second half of the year is revealing how many books and pages our students have read before the winter break. This will be a fun way to show the students their progress and remind them about the “Super Secret, Awesome Surprise Party” for the classroom that has read the most pages by the end of the year. We are looking forward to kicking off the second half of Power Lunch and feel blessed for this opportunity to continue our service through such an impactful program.
– Jessica Brandhorst & Trevon Brandhorst, AmeriCorps members