Madison School students recently completed an eight-week program that pairs the students in first through fifth grades with a Hinsdale Central High School student as part of the Read 2 Lead program. The high schoolers assist with homework completion, math facts and reading comprehension after school. Madison Principal Mindy McMahon says the mentor relationship is also about building social skills. Specialized Assistant Sarah Pierpoint, who is one of the Read 2 Lead coordinators at Madison, notes “Read 2 Lead is a wonderful program that offers students extra support with homework, reading, and math skills by working with a high school mentor. Both groups of students have a blast working together. This experience truly makes learning fun!”
At Hinsdale Central High School, Read 2 Lead is an extra-curricular activity that requires an application to join. Over 120 students participate and work with younger students from several different schools, including Madison. Eight students sit on the Read 2 Lead Executive Board and manage the review of applications and mentor/mentee assignments. Juliana Pellino, who was a mentor as a freshman, is now a junior and serves on the Executive Board. “I am in a lot of clubs,” Pellino notes, “but Read 2 Lead is my favorite.” Pellino says that mentors enjoy working with children. “We go to the schools to help their kids, but we learn from them, too. It is fun and we get to hear their perspective on things.” A student started the program in 2005 and program sponsors note that it continues to be a student-driven initiative.
The pairs meet one or two times per week for ninety minutes per session for eight weeks in the fall and can resume in the early spring. 30 Madison students are invited to participate. McMahon notes, “This is our third year in the program and we are again impressed by the passion of the HCHS students to converse with our elementary students building study skills, relationships and love of learning.”