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Each Friday, our older students join the younger ones for Reading Partners. They read together, make art, talk, and play, before walking together to our all-school Gathering. If you have a child at High Meadow, perhaps you’ve heard what a special time of the week it is for all ages.

While Reading Partners certainly encourages sharing a love of books, there’s more to it than that. This cross-grade-level relationship building is part of our work to cultivate a community where every child is known

“When we foster a culture where younger children are cared for and supported by older children,” says Head of School, Dr. Susan Paynter, “we diminish the possibility that older kids will tease or leave out younger children. Instead, they become a vital part of the nurturing. Instead of ‘I’m cooler than you’, it’s ‘I’m going to care for you’.” 

Almost every child at High Meadow knows each other, age 3 to age 14. Every teacher at High Meadow knows every child, too. In fact, they meet to assign reading partners student by student, talking through each pair.

Readings Partners is a shining example of what Susan calls our “value system of whole school support”, which attends to students’ social and emotional wellbeing as a building block for learning, creativity, and growth.