HHS juniors emphasize reading with Christmas treat to Kindergarteners

Published 9:29 am Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Star Photo/Abby Morris-Frye  Young students listen intently as an upperclassman reads them a Christmas story.

Star Photo/Abby Morris-Frye
Young students listen intently as an upperclassman reads them a Christmas story.

Kindergarten students at Hampton Elementary received a special visit on Monday who provided the children with a holiday treat.
A group of juniors from Hampton High School spent part of their morning on Monday reading to the kindergarten classes at the elementary school. Some of the stories centered around the theme of Christmas while others were classic children’s stories.
The event was organized by Hampton High teacher Matt Myers, who teaches the English III class for juniors.
“I think the most important thing we can give younger students is the gift of literacy,” Myers said. “If we can take the older students who have been through the grades and have them connect with the ones just starting out it helps the younger ones see how important it is.”
Having strong reading and comprehension skills will help students succeed in their other subjects as well, Myers said. The ability to read and comprehend allows the students to understand their other classes such as history and math.
“Literacy feeds into every other subject we take, that’s why it’s very important,” Myers said. “It’s the bedrock of everything.”
In addition to helping the kindergarten students understand the importance of literacy, the event helps the high school students see the impact they can have on the lives of the younger students.
“Here at Hampton we have a great community of students,” Myers said. “They get along, they help each other out, and they look up to each other.”
On Monday morning, the high schoolers divided into groups and spent time in each of the three kindergarten classrooms at Hampton Elementary reading to the children. The smiles on the faces of the younger students were mirrored in the faces of the juniors.
“They were excited about it and about getting to bring some joy to the kids at Christmas,” Myers said of his students. “This is a group that really loves kids.”
This is the first time Myers has held an event like this for his students and he is already planning to make it a reoccurring event.
“I’m working on an event for the Spring,” he said, adding he will also incorporate some of Hampton High School’s athletes and visit some of the higher grade levels at the elementary school.
Myers hopes the program will continue on for years to come.
“My hope is when these students get to high school they will want to be part of it,” Myers said of the kindergarten students hearing the stories on Monday. “We want this to be a multi-generational thing.”
Myers’ group of 16 participating juniors included: Robert Pierce, Kelsey Hartley, Zach Story, Trevor Eller, Tyrus Buckles, Jared Andrews, Kaylee Wilson, Kaylee Graybeal, Heather Greer, Gavin Hardin, Sierra Camillo, Brett Deaton, Haley Davenport, Joe Fleenor, Cody Vines, and Bella Harris.

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