Even with 100 patrols, that still leaves about 150 fifth graders that are not patrols. Some, of course, don't qualify for the patrol program, but others have scheduling problems that make it difficult to come early or stay late every single day and some just aren't interested in the job. In years past those students congregated in the Media Center or the Dining Room. But this year, Jane Szerba, 5th Grade lead teacher, wondered if these students might do something different - if they might live the idea of servant leaders?
Our K-4 students sit in the hallways in the morning and read quietly, so Jane's thought was to pair the 5th graders who are not patrols with kindergartners and have them read together. This is not a totally new concept, of course, but one that we have never done successfully on so large a scale. We have had younger and older classes that paired together as reading buddies and we have had teachers try to get smaller projects of paired reading going in the mornings but nothing that involved this many students.
This program will require continued vigilance from the fifth grade teachers past this honeymoon period for monitoring. Fifth grade students and their kindergartner partners will have to invest in relationships and see the value for the program to have a prolonged impact.