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Kindergarten Student Teaches Grandpa Tricks to Read

Six-year-old, Zayden Coleman, received a kindergarten diploma in June during a ceremony at River City Scholars Charter Academy as his grandmother, Donna Applewhite, had tears streaming down her face.

The end of Zayden's kindergarten year represented so much more to her than just another school year.
Not only did her grandson learn how to read and do math this past year, his grandfather, Kivan Applewhite, also did, too, because of Zayden’s instruction. And, as they learned together, a deep bond was formed between the two.
Throughout the past year, Zayden spent evenings cuddled up with his grandfather reading to him, doing homework, and playing together.

"He would teach me how to sound out words that were hard for me," said Kivan. "I didn't know about phonics. I didn't have that in school. I have improved since we've been reading together."

 Donna believes Zayden is the only one who could help him.

“He (Kivan) has progressed from zero to at least a fifth-grade reading level in just this past year with Zayden’s help,” said Donna. “It’s been amazing to watch. I am so proud of both of them.”
Although she knew her husband struggled with large words while reading, she didn't try to teach him.
couldn’t read she didn’t try to teach him.
“Only Zayden was able to teach him with the methods he’s been learning from his teacher,” she said. “After Zayden taught him, I began seeing him do it by himself. They both kept practicing every day and got better and better. I am so proud of the two of them.”
Zayden sounds out words by using a technique where he points to parts of his arm.  
“He told him ‘this is how you do it’ and his grandfather does it that way when he can’t sound out a word,” said Donna. “It’s amazing what they both have learned this year.”
Now, Zayden is also teaching his grandfather how to tell time and basic math skills.
"It brings me joy to learn with him," said Kivan. 

This summer they continue to work through Zayden's Bridge book and read together each night.

"I like to teach people," said Zayden.