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Polson Readers Daizey Hewankorn, Jackie Ness, Spring Johnston and Jenna Cederberg at Linderman school.

As a Leader reader, you are very dear to my heart. In the world of print journalism, of course, readers make the world go round.

This week, however, I'd like to introduce you to a different kind of reader. Three girls who I call my readers.

Jackie Ness, Daizey Hewankorn and Spring Johnston are second graders at Linderman Elementary School and a very good bunch of readers. Each Wednesday afternoon, the girls and I get together for some reading time.

I began reading with my readers in September after joining the Polson Reads program, which matches volunteer readers with students is kindergarten to fourth grade. It's unique to the Polson district and run completely by volunteer coordinators who donate their time and skills. This dedication insures brighter futures for all readers. And it's been so much fun.

Even after meeting for just a half hour each week, we've done a lot of reading and come to be pretty good buddies. Everyone is reading so well.

Jackie's favorite book is "The Cat in the Hat," by Dr. Seuss.

"They're actually kind of funny," Jackie said about Dr. Seuss' books. She first saw "The Cat in the Hat" at the Linderman library and likes to check that book out the most.

Jackie read "The Cat in the Hat" to me several months back. She breezed through the more than 60 pages without a problem. She is so ready for "hard" third grade books.

Daizey's favorite stories are ones about the Gingerbread Man. We read one version last week. She said she likes to see the man and woman who baked the Gingerbread Man get surprised when he jumps out of the oven.

As a second grader, she's grown to enjoy reading more.

"Last year I didn't like to read, but this year I do," she said. "I thought last year it was going to be boring. But it's really fun instead."

Spring loves to read the Junie B. Jones book series, "because Junie B. Jones messes up her words sometimes and she's funny."

Teaching students how to be the best readers they can, and teaching them to love what reading can bring into their lives is a must.

You don't have to convince my readers.

"When you grow up you have to read a lot," Spring said. "People are going to ask you stuff, and you're going to have to answer the questions."

Jackie and Daizey know more reading time will help prepare them for third grade.

"It really does help you learn all the words and how you spell them," Jackie said. "Just so you can be a better reader."

"Being a good reader makes you smarter for third grade so you can read hard books. It even helps you read papers," Daizey said.

That's my girl!

The thing I've loved most is just getting to become friends with Daizey, Spring and Jackie through reading. It's been such a pleasure reading with these girls (no, not just to build more Leader readers). A world without readers is a world without much worth. The students know that, we know that. That's why the connections Polson Reads makes are such a great thing.

I hope everyone reading this today will consider jumping in and getting some readers of their own.

Polson Reads volunteers are always needed. To find out more call Carolyn Heinz at 883-4075.

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