M Stories: Eva O'Reilly's Dream Team
Eva O'Reilly is the leader of the 4th Grade Reading Buddies

Their Club:  Reading Buddies

Their Mascot:  Capybara

Their Leader:  Eva O’Reilly

Core Members:  Eva, Linn, Lola, Nova, and Carla

Their Vision: “I want this school to be a better community, working together, building up a stronger, better learning experience for everyone”, declares Linn.

Their Mission:  Stated best by their leader Eva, “We can help our school get better and we can inspire other kids to make other clubs, like a math club or something!”

Their Story:  “I decided to start the group because last year, I was really bad at reading, and I got laughed at once. I didn’t want it to happen to other people, so I decided to start a reading club and convince other people that even if someone thinks you are bad, you are actually really good” explains Eva.  She is joined by a powerhouse group of friends from her 4th-grade class.  Together, they are taking over the Junior School library each Wednesday break time to ensure that no 2nd-grader feels like learning to read is a challenge they have to go through alone.

Is it easy to teach 2nd-graders to read?  The answer from the club members is a resounding “No!”.  Junior School Teacher-Librarian, Teri-Lynn Biedenbach (Mrs. B) explains that the club members are facing the challenge of keeping their 2nd-grader learners engaged and focused, just like a teacher would!  “I encourage them to think about the strategies their teachers use in the classroom.  They’ve already begun using a clapping pattern to help get their students' attention back and get focus” reports Mrs. B.

Despite the classroom management challenges, club member Lola says that she dreams of becoming a 2nd-grade teacher when she grows up.  A native French speaker, Lola entered MIS in 2nd grade with no English language abilities:  “For me, I wanted to join the group because I wasn’t like Eva who didn’t read well.  I couldn’t read any book! I don’t want anyone to feel lonely or excluded”.

Indeed, the theme of community building is a main driver for each of the club members.  They have realized that they hold agency and power in making MIS a better place for all learners.  “It feels really nice to help others because the 2nd-graders are getting a good experience.  It’s good for us because we are working with other kids who are different ages and come from other places” explains Nova.

If anyone is wondering if 4th-graders really can help 2nd-graders improve their reading, Mrs. B asserts that “we encourage student initiatives.  They can learn just as much from each other no matter their age.  The point is to enjoy books together, sound out words, talk about the pictures, make connections, and grow a love of reading”.

This club exists because young learners like Eva are empowered to support their peers. Together, with dream teams like Eva’s Reading Buddies, MIS is on a mission to nurture, challenge, and inspire our entire community.