Peddie Goes Back to Walter C. Black

Maggie Gladkowski '26, Staff Writer

January 9 to Wednesday, January 11, Freshmen Humanities students took a trip to the local elementary school, Walter C. Black, to read to kindergarten and first-grade students. After being hindered by COVID-19 in the past few years, students were finally able to make the anticipated visit this year. 

In the classroom, Peddie students were each assigned to read to an elementary school student, a reading buddy. The reading buddy had the freedom to select any book from the class. When Peddie students attended the first-grade classes, some elementary school students even wanted to read to them instead. Many of the books they picked out were some of Peddie’s students’ favorite childhood books. As Julisa Lugo ’26 stated, “One of the books my kids wanted to read was my favorite book as a child. I loved reading it again.” 

It was a great experience to get involved in the community and spread joy, especially because the teachers and staff at Walter C. Black were so welcoming. The kids were sweet, and many Peddie students found themselves instantly bonding with their reading buddies. Even though the event may seem like a small gesture, students were able to get involved in the community and do good. Equally important, this trip also sparked some childhood memories. Peddie students wanted to continue enjoying the experience as it reminded them of their elementary school experiences. As Aubrey Shaulis 26 stated, “The students and staff were so welcoming, I didn’t want to leave; it was like I was back in kindergarten.” 

Not only was this experience an excellent way to connect with the community, but it was a great way to learn more about the Ancient Indian society unit in Humanities. One of the main values of Hinduism is dharma, the belief in doing the right or correct behavior. Students explored this concept while reading to students, investigating their inner dharma. 

The trip was a great way to get involved in the community and touch one’s inner dharma, and many students hope to visit again soon.