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ROSE Project Reflection: Reading Buddies

The Real Opportunities for Service Education (ROSE) Project is a two-year Upper School student project in which they design and implement service learning that engages their passion and directly impacts the School or our wider global community. Learn more at

Fiona M '23

While at SD, I’ve been amazed at the variety of fabulous and unique individuals that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting on campus. While talking with a fellow classmate, I was reminded of a Reading Buddy program at my middle school that I had so much fun participating in, as a little kid being read to, and as a big kid reading to a younger student. I was inspired to do the same thing at SD between the senior and kindergarten classes.

I began to create the Reading Buddy program with a few of my senior classmates (Mali, Jojo, Hayley, ZuZu, and Olivia). Along with reading books to the kindergarteners, we will incorporate arts and crafts, songs, and dances that assimilate with the stories we read, which was an aspect of the program inspired by the unique talents of each of our Reading Buddy seniors. While the program currently acts as my and my classmates’ ROSE project, it was initially created in order to bring a fun and collaborative project to San Domenico. 

To me, this program is exactly why I believe service is important: because it builds community. Working with other people to contribute to something that’s larger than myself makes me feel like I’m maintaining a sort of purpose in my life. I feel grounded and more driven to be creative with my interests when I use them to serve others. The act of service in itself is versatile, and can be done at any time or place, so long as your actions are kind and respectful, and the purpose of it is positive and meaningful. If you see that something is missing in your community that you believe would be beneficial, I encourage you to be creative and explore ways to act on it. 

With the Reading Buddy program, I’m working alongside amazing people to share unique experiences with others, and it’s something of which I’m very proud.

– Fiona M. ’23