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Third Graders Pitch in to Help Kindergarten Students

The Associated Press

NEW LONDON, Mo. (AP) — Kindergarten students at a small school in northeast Missouri are getting a little help with their ABC's from a trio of third-graders.

The Quincy (Ill.) Herald-Whig ( ) reports that Tyler Armour, Kaydence Egbert and Olivia Rawlings at New London Elementary School have been spending one recess each day coaching kindergarteners in writing and letter recognition.

Teacher Teresa Krigbaum and principal Melanie Smith gave the third-graders lessons in the basics of teaching. The third-graders keep files, give out stickers and coach the younger children on the basic, essential skills.

The trio of third-graders spent the first few weeks of the school year training with Krigbaum, reviewing the sounds for each letter of the alphabet and the correct path in writing them. The third-graders also had extra homework and took a test to ensure their competency.

The third-graders often stay after school to practice teaching, and sometimes give up recess time to help the kindergartners.

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"I can spend time helping them on what they need help with," Olivia said. "I want them to be better writers. I love writing."

Kindergartners are rewarded with stickers for trying hard or learning a new skill. When they fill up a chart, they get a prize.

Olivia doesn't make it easy.

"I only give them three chances, and if they don't listen, then they don't get a sticker," she said. "I really push them. I want them to do a good job."

Tyler said when he first started teaching, his students moved around a lot, but with time the kindergartners have become more focused.

Smith said the program started on a small scale this year, with plans to expand next year if it is successful. She's proud of the way the third-graders have embraced the responsibility.

The kindergartners have responded well, too.

"I think they see them as role models," Smith said. "Sometimes it's easier to please someone a little bit closer to your age than it is an adult."


Information from: The Quincy Herald-Whig,

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