Kent Elementary Buddy Pairs Meet and Collaborate

In the spirit of collaboration and compassion, a buddy system at Kent Elementary has been formed between first-grade students in Christina Schubert’s class and fourth-grade students in Chris Livulpi’s class.

Two KES students sit at picnic table in courtyard

The perfect opportunity to resurrect the buddy class pairing arose when Schubert, who previously taught in fourth grade moved to teach first grade this year. Additionally, access to a new technology package, Lumio, and support from Technology Coach Mike Dwyer, provided a new, collaborative way to engage the students using their technology devices, a benefit to the buddy-pairing project.

“When the buddy program was operating in the past, the students would get to fourth grade and remember when they had a buddy as first graders. It really carried through the years for them,” said Livulpi.

The buddies met for the first time in October in the Kent Elementary courtyard, taking advantage of the seasonable weather. The hope is to be able to bring the buddies once a month during the school year to connect, using large indoor spaces such as the cafeteria and gymnasium during the winter months when it is too cold to meet outside.

“My fourth graders were so excited for today and it was just the cutest thing,” said Livulpi. “As much as the first graders love it, the fourth graders are beside themselves. They are just so excited. It’s a whole new connection with our younger students in Kent Elementary!”

In sync with the festive Halloween celebrations, the buddies’ first meeting centered on a read-along of The Little Ghost Who Was a Quilt, a story about a little ghost who struggles because he is different – he is a quilt while all the other ghosts are sheets.

Sitting next to each other at picnic tables, the fourth-grade students read the story to their first-grade buddies and engaged in a fun discussion about what the little ghost in the story learned:

“It is ok to be the same and different, it doesn’t actually matter,” said first-grade student Vaughn Perla.

“We just read a book about a ghost that is a quilt and then we will be making a project,” said fourth-grade student Lily Hanaburgh, who is excited for many more meetings with her first-grade buddy, Hailey Matos. “I know what project it is, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise for my buddy!”

Following the story, the students created their own ghosts with their buddy using lollipops, coffee filters and string – a creative and sweet treat following a collaborative and fun meet-up!

Meet Our Buddies!