Skipping recess? Kids at PS-IS 206 give up free time to help younger kids learn to read

Brooklyn Daily
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Sometimes students make the best teachers.

A group of 80 fifth-through-eighth-grade students at PS-IS 206 in Sheepshead Bay have been cutting their recess short for the past few months to help their younger colleagues in kindergarten-through-second grade improve their reading skills.

“These kids are giving up their recess twice a week to help other kids learn to read,” said Alli Giordano, a literacy coach at the Sheepshead Bay public school. “I think they deserve a little recognition.”

Yes, there are actually kids who are willing to give up recess — of their own free will — to read to younger children and help them with learning exercises designed by Giordano.

Giordano insist that none of the kids at the school are forced to participate in the program, and yet every year she says she gets plenty of eager volunteers.

“It’s totally voluntary and I explain that to them,” she said. “They’re totally into it. They want to do it.”

The program has demonstrated considerable benefits to both the tutors and their students. Not only do the little ones become stronger readers, but the older kids earn a sense of pride — not to mention a little friend.

“All the kids love their teachers, but when other kids help them, it makes a world of difference,” said Giordano. “They’re so excited to see them, some of them give presents and they often develop a relationsh­ip.”

The literacy coach rewards her pint-sized teachers occasionally with snacks and pencils, and at the end of the year she gives out prizes to graduating participants for their hard work and the sacrifice of their precious recess time.

“I go nuts and either give them snacks, or pencils, and then at the end of the year they get community service hours — and if they’re graduating, they get a little reward,” she said.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4514.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: