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By Loren Hughes

Staff Writer

Video by Kim Dalrymple and Blake Manfre

Glitter, coloring books and pumpkins have appeared throughout the halls of CHS, which can only mean one thing: Ready, Set, Teach! has finally begun. Aside from the halls of CHS, these school essentials can also be seen gracing the halls of various elementary schools across Coppell where RST students are teaching.

The entire first six weeks of the school year was spent in preparation for visits to the schools, such as reading children’s stories to the class and bringing coloring books in order to connect to their inner child.

“I contacted my Ready, Set, Teach! teacher [Cottonwood Creek Elementary music teacher Kelly Rollett] to have a list of what we would be doing in order to prepare,” senior Precious Femi-Ogunyemi said. “She was really helpful and helped me get situated with my class.”

After spending every day preparing for their upcoming visits to the elementary schools, students are now teaching on their own. Senior Kathy Pearce has gotten into quite a routine at her school, and has acclimated well to her new students.

“I usually have Kathy help me with individual students’ math comprehension, and she has been a big help with a couple of my students in particular,” Fifth grade Cottonwood Creek Elementary teacher Malachi Ewbank said. “There are individuals/groups that can always use the extra attention and the RST teachers are an excellent resource.”

Similar to Pearce, senior Caroline Kaifes, who teaches fourth grade at Denton Creek Elementary, has also gotten into a routine of her own.

“I walk around and help the students with their class work, and I also go and eat lunch with them,” Kaifes said. “When I don’t eat lunch with them, I grade papers. I just like being able to work with the kids, and I also like going off campus for two periods to do so.”

The RST students go to their schools on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Some students go during their morning periods, while others go during their afternoon periods. Because of this schedule, some students, such as senior Pearce, have the luxury of participating in recess again.

“I help with teaching lessons, grading papers and playing at lunch and recess,” Pearce said. “I just love being able to hang out with a spunky group of little kids each week and being able to have recess again.”

Even though grading papers and helping younger students with their class work can at times be tedious and less enjoyable to some, the real joy of working with these elementary school students is evident among their high school co-teachers.

“My favorite part is hearing the cute little kids screaming my name and giving me hugs when I’m at their school,” Femi-Ogunyemi said.

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