Thursday, May 16, 2013 students participating in the Martha Speaks Reading Buddies Program at Holliday Montessori enjoyed a well deserved treat. A pizza party was held in their honor for successful completion of the reading program. Martha Speaks Reading Buddies Program is a 10-session literacy program pairing Big Buddies and Little Buddies to encourage reading and learning new words. The program at Holliday Montessori was made possible through the generous support of George K. Baum & Company. When asked about the Martha Speaks program, Karen May, Principal at Holliday, said “the teachers and students are loving the program. It is a bigger hit than I ever imagined.” Kelsey Schmidt, a Big Buddy teacher at Holliday, also stated “My students, Big Buddies, are big fans of the program, and I have heard rave reviews from the Little Buddies as well. It is a time of friendship and learning that the kids don’t even view as work. They have been completely engaged with the materials and refer to the vocabulary or themes often outside of the program. My Big Buddies have taken more and more ownership each week of their responsibilities and have grown in relationship with their Little Buddies.” Providing the Martha Speaks Reading Buddies Program to schools such as Holliday also creates an opportunity to head one step in the right direction towards the Mayor’s Turn the Page KC initiative focusing on increased reading proficiency.