NEOSHO, Mo. — How do you get young children interested in reading when they aren’t old enough to know how to do it themselves? A program at Neosho Middle School might have the answer.

It’s one thing to read a book by yourself, but another to share it with someone else. That’s what 5th and 6th graders in the Neosho Middle School student leadership team were doing with preschool kids inside the Field Early Childhood Center.

“I think this will help our 6th-grade leadership group build more connections with the community here, with the preschool students and then I also think it will help the preschool students feel more connected to their older peers,” said Jacey Adams, Neosho Middle School Counselor.

“Definitely giving some experience that maybe there is some future teachers in this group that maybe we’re sparking some interest in becoming a preschool teacher or early childhood teacher,” said Christine Cawley, Early Childhood Dir., Neosho School District.

But the littles who attend school here aren’t the only ones that benefit from this interaction.

“Yes, of course, I have so many little cousins, I read to them a lot,” said Hadley Williams, Neosho Middle School 6th Grade.

This isn’t the first time Hadley Williams has read to little kids, but is the first time the littles weren’t related to her.

“It’s really nice to see some of the old teachers that I had are still here and it’s nice to see the next group of kids that’s here that are eventually going to be where I am,” Hadley said.

Program organizers say their goal isn’t to encourage kids to go into teaching. But even before taking part in the Book Buddie Program, Hadley says she was already thinking about a career in education.