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Greenbrier middle schooler sparks literacy initiatives to motivate peers to read

A Greenbrier middle school student took it upon herself to motivate her peers to read.

GREENBRIER, Ark. — A Greenbrier middle school student took it upon herself to motivate her peers to read.

Madelyn Larrimore is a 7th grader at Greenbrier Middle School, but her next project is to help educate others. She’s collected old newspaper dispenser boxes from the Log Cabin Democrat.

“We’re going to find someone to sand them and then paint them,” Larrimore said.

After they’re refurbished they’ll be placed around town and filled with unused books she’s collected from libraries and schools.

“Read Box Books, or read. It’s spelled read or read box books,” Larrimore said.

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She said too many students spend their extra time behind a screen.

“To increase people’s reading and for them not to always be on technology all the time. They’re just always on it so it’s like their world is based on their phone,” Larrimore said.

Madelyn is even hoping to boost ACT Aspire scores.

“This year we’ve been mainly focused on reading because no one really needs anymore,” Larrimore said.

Her principal is looking forward to seeing the impact.

“It’s something that we as adults in the building do all day long, but to have the information coming from another student, from a peer, is going to make a big difference for the kids,” Greenbrier Middle School Principal Bryce Bennett said.

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Madelyn is able to work on the project at school thanks to the EAST initiative, or Education Accelerated by Service and Technology, alongside other students working to make big impacts in the community.

“The EAST initiative allows students to come in and select projects that they think will be a benefit for their community. You know, we’ve got a facilitator that helps the students in the EAST lab with direction,” Bennett said.

Last year Greenbrier 7th graders scored in the top percentile for reading, with about 60% percent of students reading at grade level. Their principal said they’re always looking for ways to close that gap.