Tampa Bay students help elementary school's reading program - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa Bay students help elementary school's reading program

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Sofia Leche, the project participant Sofia Leche, the project participant
With a new principal at the helm, Pasco County's Lacoochee Elementary students are working hard to turn their school, once facing failing scores, into one packed with eager learners ready to over-achieve. When some Tampa middle schoolers heard about the mission, they decided to jump on board to help.

Dozens of students at Tampa's Berkeley Preparatory boarded buses, vans and cars to visit students at Lacoochee Elementary. They packed hardback books written and illustrated by the middle schoolers inside the cargo bins.

"The little girl I got to interview before writing the book loves everything pink, so I wrote her a story where she is the princess," said Berkeley 6th-grader Sofia Leche.

The students decided to self-publish dozens of books about each elementary student at Lacoochee, in hopes of helping the little ones connect with reading on a whole new level.

"They have emerging readers, and we have developing writers," said Berkeley teacher Jennifer Martin.

Martin and other teachers who partnered together for this project feels it's a win-win for all students involved.

"It was real world writing coming to life," said Berkeley teacher Raequel Majeski. "They took that writing project and they made it their own."

The teachers hope they can stay in touch with Lacooche Elementary, as the elementary students themselves touched the lives of their middle school friends in a way that will probably be a never-ending story.

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