On any given G Day, around 1 p.m., you may witness a gaggle of Middle School students venturing into various Lower School classrooms. They’re participating in a new program, dubbed Book Buddies. Over the past few weeks, seventh- and eighth-grade advisories began a reading partnership with students in grades 1-3.
The purpose of the program is twofold: To promote a love of reading and strengthen ties between the two divisions.
During Book Buddies, LS students practice their listening and reading skills, while middle schoolers act as guides and teachers. Reflecting on his first Book Buddies experience, Jackson, a Middle School student, remarked, “It was neat to step back and let my reading buddy engage, working with him without directly saying he was either right or wrong.”
As for the Middle School students, who doesn’t enjoy an afternoon respite, in our cozy Lower School, reading a good picture book… or two?
By Sarah Diehl
Lower and Middle School Librarian
At year’s end
The first semester ends with a whimper.
There isn’t a special event to cap it like Commencement finishes the second semester. All the big events were held earlier in the month. Upper School exams ended, officially, at 11 a.m. Thursday morning, but even earlier in the week students only showed up when they had exams and were noticeable only after school when they practiced basketball. Middle Schoolers had a skating party to round out their semester, which ended yesterday. Only the Lower Schoolers are here today, but with parties and other in-classroom events, they seem pretty scarce, too.
Even the teachers aren’t much of a presence: Those who are here are busily grading exams and preparing report cards. Staff members seem a little more inclined to linger over a conversation in the hallway with a cup of coffee, learning about other people’s plans for break. Lunch will be a small event, as many departments hold their own gatherings on or off campus.
It’s this quiet setting that gets a person thinking about how vibrant a place Liggett is when it’s filled with students. We send out emails with a greeting “Dear Liggett family” and there’s a reason for that — for so many people, it does feel like a big, extended family here. That’s why events like last week’s Lower School Snow Ball, our fundraising events, plays, sporting events and concerts attract such big crowds. That’s why so many students hang out after school, tucked into little corners in small and larger groups, when they surely have other places they can be.
The end of the year always brings recaps and, if not nostalgia, a sense of looking at how we are different than we were at the beginning of the year. Our year began in September with new students who didn’t know what to expect. To see them hugging each other goodbye in the hallways or making plans for next semester and next school year shows they have become part of the ever-growing Liggett family.
Here’s wishing the entire Liggett family a happy and healthy new year full of success, friendship and joy.
See you in 2013.
By Ron Bernas