Madison School, Hinsdale Central students partner in Read 2 Lead Program

Madison student Lara Schroeder reads with her Read 2 Lead mentor from Hinsdale Central High School, Dana Zakieh.

Courtesy of: District 181

Madison School students recently completed an eight-week program that paired the students in first through fifth grades with a Hinsdale Central High School student as part of the Read 2 Lead program. The high schoolers assisted with homework completion, math facts and reading comprehension after school. 

“Read 2 Lead is a wonderful program that offers students extra support with homework, reading, and math skills by working with a high school mentor," said specialized assistant Sarah Pierpoint, one of the Read 2 Lead coordinators at Madison. "Both groups of students have a blast working together. This experience truly makes learning fun."

At Hinsdale Central, Read 2 Lead is an extracurricular activity that requires an application to join. A student started the program in 2005, and program sponsors note that it continues to be a student-driven initiative. Over 120 students participate and work with younger students from several different schools, including Madison. Eight students sit on the Read 2 Lead Executive Board and manage the review of applications and mentor/mentee assignments.

Juliana Pellino, who was a mentor as a freshman, is now a junior and serves on the Executive Board.

“I am in a lot of clubs,” Pellino said, “but Read 2 Lead is my favorite. We go to the schools to help their kids, but we learn from them, too. It is fun and we get to hear their perspective on things.” 

Brendan Conboy and Saadia Elahi practice math facts.

The pairs meet once or twice per week for 90 minutes per session for eight weeks in the fall, and have the option of resuming in the early spring. 30 Madison students are invited to participate.

Madison Principal Mindy McMahon said the mentor relationship is also about building social skills.

“This is our third year in the program," she said, "and we are again impressed by the passion of the HCHS students to converse with our elementary students building study skills, relationships and love of learning.”

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