bobcat book readers

SHERWOOD, Ark. — Oakbrooke Elementary started a new program this year where 5th graders take time out of their days to read to the kindergarteners at the school.

This is the first year Oakbrooke Elementary has implemented the Bobcat Book Leaders program.

Librarian Oliva Stroud hopes this lets 5th graders take more leadership roles in the school. “The younger kids look up to the older kids and so maybe it would give them motivation to become readers themselves and develop that love of literacy and a love of books,” Stroud said.

Stroud says the kindergartners love their older peers reading to them

“They don’t maybe see them as that authority figure, someone telling them to lineup straight, be quiet, so they’re more comfortable,” Stroud said.

Fifth-grader Claire Crawford is a Bobcat Book Leader and she says the concept is exactly what drew her in to want to do it.

“I really loved having people read to me when I was little and I love reading now,” Crawford said.

Crawford said she feels the smaller kids look up to the older ones and this shows them they are all just kids despite the age difference

She reads with enthusiasm and brings out the characters and she said kids are enchanted by it.

“If you read with excitement and things, the excitement becomes contagious and they get excited about the books and they all seem so happy,” Crawford said.

Crawford says she hopes those kindergartners now will pay it forward when they can be Bobcat Book Leaders

“They’ll remember that someone read to them and they’ll want to do it,” Crawford says.