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Helping each other; Glenwood second-graders read to Vestal Park residents

A new reading time tradition for Glenwood second-grade students is as much about hugs and giggles, connecting and sharing as it is about enriching the children’s reading skills. Beginning in March, on the first Tuesday of the month, Glenwood second-graders went over the bridge and up the hill to Vestal Park Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. They brought their book bags, and their smiles.

Then, they sat down and read their favorite books to the Vestal Park residents. “The director told me,” said Principal Doreen McSain, “’our residents need this. It gives them life and optimism.’”

“The funny thing is,” added Principal McSain, “I believe that our children need them as much as they need us.”

The children returned on April 4 with different books to read to their new friends, including books of poems that they wrote themselves. As they did on their first visit, the students sang a few songs for the residents and then ran over to share some really big hugs before saying “goodbye.” They planned two more visits before the end of this school year, on May 2 and June 6. However, Principal McSain and the second-grade teachers hope to continue this reading “partnership” next year with Vestal Park and a brand-new group of second-graders.