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Reading buddies become role models at Serna

 Serna fifth grader works with a first grader during morning tutoring

If practice makes perfect, our Serna Elementary School first graders are well on their way to mastering phonics and reading. 

Each morning before school, first graders have the chance to read alongside fifth graders during the morning tutoring program. First-grade teacher Toni Williams launched the initiative in February, and ever since it’s been building positive new connections on campus. 

Toni Williams holds the NEISD way sign“It’s been amazing to watch my kids go from struggling a little to reading fluently,” said Williams. “They like the kids that they’re reading with – they see them on the playground and in the halls and that connection is special. It has been so cool to see our fifth graders step up and take the lead.” 

The first graders aren’t the only ones benefitting. The fifth graders have taken the lead, embracing their ‘tutor’s oath’ to be professional, kind and respectful. They love being role models while the first graders hone their confidence through reading aloud. 

Every child has their own individualized folder, which Williams prepares, so the tutors can track their progress. By covering specific TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills), each child is pushing the needle in the right direction – and becoming more comfortable and confident as a reader. 

“I’m really blessed to have Mrs. Lomas as my principal. She’s not afraid to let us try new things, and she said, ‘Yes!’ to this and now we’re already seeing positive results. I feel very supported in that regard.”

Bringing in new ideas with big results #theNEISDway 

Serna fifth grader tutors group photo

Posted by Lila Stanley
Posted on 4-23-24