The Reading League launches a new television series geared at combatting ‘COVID slide’ in elementary students

The Reading League has announced the launch of a new television show for children, Reading Buddies. Pictured above is lead actor Andrea Dotto and reading friends.

SYRACUSE — The Reading League has announced the launch of a new television show for children — The Reading League’s Reading Buddies. The show is a fun, foundational reading TV series for students in pre-kindergarten through third grade that instructs on three important underlying components of skillful word reading: phonological awareness, letter names/sounds, and blending sounds to decode words accurately.

Reading Buddies is geared towards students in at-risk populations whose foundational reading instruction has been interrupted by the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Content comes from evidence-aligned curricula used by number of area schools.

“Students living in poverty for whom the digital divide is wide and who face a viable threat to the educational foundation in reading are a particular demographic of focus,” said Reading League CEO and President, Dr. Maria Murray. “Students from at-risk populations are more likely to experience the adverse effects of interruptions in their formal education during the COVID-19 global pandemic, and this is extremely worrisome for younger students at the foundational stages of reading who lack access to technology & broadband. The pandemic has been catastrophic for their education.”

An exciting and engaging aspect of these episodes stems from the combining of education with arts/entertainment. The stars/characters of the show are COVID-displaced Broadway actors currently living in Manlius - Andrea Dotto and Brendan Malafronte. They deliver the educational curriculum content under the direction of The Reading League’s Coach Director, Kelli Johnson.

Twenty pilot episodes Reading Buddies will be available late summer/early fall and will air on WCNY’s Global Connect and YouTube.

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