Neighbors Reading to Neighbors

neighbors at raider ranch read to westwind elementary students


By Angela Howard

westwind elementary student poses with neighbor from raider ranchRaider Ranch and Westwind Elementary are practically next-door neighbors. The two groups have wanted to make a connection for quite some time, and that connection was finally able to happen.

Christi Cage, Community in Schools Coordinator at Westwind, and Jana LeCory, Activities Director at Raider Ranch, planned an activity that was perfect for both groups. Mrs. LeCroy brought over three women from Raider Ranch to read to all five kindergarten classes. When Mrs. LeCroy asked for volunteers to come read to children at Westwind, Frances Baker, Juanette Hart, and Charlotte Kizer jumped at the chance and volunteered right away. They said they volunteered because they love kids and kids make them laugh. Reading is important to these avid readers who wanted the children to learn to read and enjoy it as much as they do themselves.

Mrs. Hart volunteered for this project even before realizing that the class she would be reading to was actually her granddaughter’s kindergarten class. Mrs. Ackerman, a kindergarten teacher, was thrilled to have her “Mamaw” read to her class.

While these ladies read books such as If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and The Pigeon Wants a Cookie, students were extraordinarily quiet and absorbing every word these women were reading and speaking. Afterward, the students had many questions like did the women have any loose teeth like many of the students did. The children said they loved having the women come to see them because it reminded them of their own grandparents.

Mrs. LeCroy said the residents at Raider Ranch enjoy being involved in community service. It gives them a sense of purpose. She said these particular women are leaders in their apartment building and always welcoming people. Making a difference in other people’s lives means a great deal to them.

The children demonstrated the Frenship Way in their kind behavior, greeting them with a smile, and saying, “please and thank you.” The children told the ladies that they were showing everyone The Frenship Way by doing nice things for others.