The Friday before Thanksgiving Break was a day of extraordinary service and the beginning of a partnership between L.P. Waters Early Childhood Learning Center and New Horizons High Schools. The high school students read to the little ones and donated the books with money they had raised themselves.

And the best part? It was all a kid idea.

Student leaders at New Horizons were brainstorming about a way to help others, and they came up with the idea of raising money by running a coffee bar before school.

“They get here early, and they run the whole thing themselves,” New Horizons High School Principal Debra Gossett said. “Then they started brainstorming about what to do with the money, and they decided they wanted to do more than just make a donation. They wanted to start a lasting partnership that would have an impact.”

And what better way to make an impact than to mentoring preschoolers?

The high school students decided to buy big books in English and Spanish to read to the preschoolers, and L.P. Waters Principal Sebastian Bozas went by New Horizons to help them prepare.

“I went over there and gave them a few tips and strategies about how to go about reading the books to the little ones in a way that is fun for everyone. Using voice and also practicing the books so they don’t sit there and stutter over a word they could have figured out before the reading. And to ask lots of questions,” Bozas said. “What we want it to be is a relationship that is long-lasting. Everybody wants this to continue. When we get be back after Thanksgiving break, we’ll see what’s next. Read another story? Or maybe do a science experiment? Or is it maybe come up and fly a kite? Their ideas matter.”

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