Reading Buddies Take Shape!  

June 15, 2021

Most of the twenty-five adults who gathered in the Laurens County School District #55 administrative office building on June 8 likely did not know what to expect.  These volunteers had shown up to help build Reading Buddies, and it didn’t take long for the fun to begin.  Following a demonstration by Laurie Seawright, Coordinator for English Language Arts and Social Studies, volunteers went to work selecting the “Buddy” that caught their eye.  Whether they selected a purple unicorn, multi-colored elephant, white lamb, or any of the other various buddies from which to choose, it was clear that these volunteers were serious about the task at hand.  Filling the buddy with stuffing and including a satin heart and star was just one part of the process.  Volunteers also named, created a birth certificate, and wrote a special letter from the animal to the recipient.

Many of the volunteers were former educators.  Others were from the business community.  All were seen smiling and enjoying the opportunity to build a Reading Buddy. The group assembled 140 of the soft and cuddly animals.

“I am very appreciative of the volunteers who are donating their time to help create these adorable buddies for our rising 4K students,” said Superintendent Ameca Thomas.  “Not only is it a joy to have this support from our community, but it is very nice that this group is getting to know one another and catching up with others they haven’t seen in a while.”

All rising 4K students will have the opportunity to receive a Reading Buddy during the upcoming summer.  Along with their buddy, the students will receive a set of preschool books, pencils, and various other goodies to help them in their reading journey.

“We want our students to love reading.  Our hope is that they will see it as a fun activity, not as an assignment they must do, but something they look forward to doing,” said Thomas.  “In Laurens 55 we are committed to improving students’ literacy skills to help them become skilled and confident readers.”

At the end of June, rising 4K students will be invited to the administrative office to select and meet their take-home Reading Buddy.  At that time, students will also be provided with take-home books and supplies.  The volunteers will also be invited to this event to share in the excitement with students.

Laurens County School District 55 is committed to the principle of equal opportunity and strives to empower and inspire all to be educated and informed.