Creativity, activity, service (CAS) is one of the three essential elements that every student must complete as part of the Diploma Programme (DP). Studied throughout the Diploma Programme, CAS involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies. Students reflect on their CAS experiences as part of the DP, and provide evidence of achieving the seven learning outcomes for CAS.
As a fine example of CAS at GCS we are proud to share the Reading Buddy project initiated and developed by Osama Shabaan, a Grade 12 student currently studying for his IB Diploma. Osama was recently awarded the runner up prize at the final of the Emirates Airline NBD Poetry Competition 2018 for his recital of “Caged Bird” by Maya Angelou. His love of literature is evident in his academic achievements and his passion in assisting younger students with their reading progress.
Article written by Osama Shaaban, Grade 12 student, GCS.
The KG reading project was purely developed from my passion for working with children as they blossom and showcase their capacities. I believe that they truly resemble an engaging and dynamic age-group, that if given enough care can breed success for our future generation. Through an amalgam of innovation and a strong foundational base, they can further enhance their learning opportunities and this is what this project intends to fulfil via addressing learning needs of both younger and older children.
Through cross-age tutoring and partnerships, students improve their reading and fluency skills and gain broader literacy and social benefits. Furthermore, augmenting traditional classroom instruction with one-on-one interventions, such as this reading buddies program, is a powerful combination that can accelerate students’ oral vocabulary gains. Other benefits can be derived from cross-age tutoring making it an effective strategy for supporting children’s reading. One of those benefits is that students gain rich and varied instructional experiences with words, greater word awareness and interest in words, and exposure to the multiple dimensions of words: all essential tools for developing and improving vocabulary.
In 2015, I started a small group in consisting of only four keen students that aim to couple children with an engaging learning experience. I have now managed to encapsulate a much wider student base consisting of 40 students. I truly hope that this activity will not stop one day as it did not only help KG students by extending their vocabulary and enhancing their oral language abilities, but it also enabled me to develop as an IB learner on a personal level. I found this project a wonderful opportunity to foster my leadership and problem-solving skills and develop the skill of variation stimulus which is critical when reading to children in their foundation years. It has been truly a privilege for me to lead this project . I created enduring bonds with lovely kids, and at the end of the day, their smiles filled me with joy and happiness.