By Julie Huss
DERRY — The sun is shining on young readers at Derry Village Elementary School.
The SUNBEAMS program is alive and well. It joins elementary students with middle-schoolers for afternoons of reading, activities and friendship.
SUNBEAMS — Servicing Unique Needs Between Elementary and Middle Schools — is a program bringing eighth-grade students into first-grade classrooms for the after-school reading partnership.
A recent session concluded this week at Derry Village.
Every Wednesday for eight weeks, students from nearby West Running Brook Middle School walked down to the elementary school to spend time with younger readers in Linda Rosinski's first-grade classroom.
The hour-long session included reading, word-based games and writing exercises.
Rosinski said the program helps foster reading skills in the younger students. For the eighth-graders, participation in SUNBEAMS helps tally community service points for the year.
The older students are nominated by their teachers to participate. Rosinski said the goal of SUNBEAMS is to enhance the younger students' reading and other academic skills — and to have some fun, too.
"I've never had a student not enjoy it," Rosinski said.
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