Research has proven that reading aloud to a child can dramatically improve literacy and vocabulary. To support and celebrate reading, a special group of Meyersdale High and Middle School students have launched a new initiative to help your child develop a love of the written word.
MASD Story Time is the creation of Mrs. Megan Edwards, an English teacher at Meyersdale Area Middle School, where she also serves the Scrabble and Reading Team advisor, and Musical Choreographer.
“I saw a video on Facebook of a principal from an inner-city school, who read a book aloud weekly and students’ scores went up. I began thinking of how we could bring that idea here to Meyersdale. I do not have a lot of interaction with elementary students and thought maybe it would be more relatable for the younger children to have an older student read, someone they can look up to or even know as a neighbor or relative,” she said.
Edwards enlisted the help of several older students and began the process of launching MASD Story Time on YouTube. A group of volunteers meet every other week during Personalized Learning Time and select books to read and determine the role of each individual in the filming.
She said the project has already captured the attention and imagination of her older volunteers, as they have had a great time reading and filming the episodes.
“I think having the older students read aloud is beneficial to their own public speaking and fluency skills and they are having fun!”
Prior to the first episode, letters were sent home to children in pre-k through second grade, introducing the students and their parents/guardians to this new outreach initiative.
Episode 1 featured readings by two seventh grade students and one eighth grade student, Georgia Mazzaferro, Kennedy Brant and Madison Hollada. The students shared readings of the following books: Bat Jamboree, Flat Stanley and The Haunted House, and Aliens Love Underpants.
A new episode of MASD Story Time will be released every other Wednesday at 8 p.m. through May. Edwards said she is pleased with the initial response to Episode 1 and hopes to see the audience grow with each episode.
“Be sure to tune in every other Wednesday at 8 p.m. for three new stories,” Edwards added.