At the beginning of the year, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and siblings are invited to sign up to serve as a Mystery Reader for the Senior Kindergarten class. “We introduce Mystery Readers at Lower School Parent Night and ask for family members to sign up when they have a chance,” said Kelly Hummel, Senior Kindergarten Homeroom Teacher. “We really want to be sure that each student has one family member be the reader at some point in the school year. We also welcome members of the faculty and staff to be our guest readers.”
The Mystery Reader for the week is responsible for sending the teachers a set of clues that are read a few hours before their special arrival. Clues often describe favorites like colors, hobbies, and foods. They might be physical descriptors like tall, wears glasses, curly hair, etc. Here are some samples of recent clues from the Mystery Readers in September:
- He likes to play soccer
Favorite ice cream is mint chocolate chip
Grew up in Boston
- Has a big black dog
- Is aunt to a child in SK
- Lives in a country in Asia, not St. Louis
- Speaks Chinese as her first language
The clues are read out loud to the students who try to guess who the Mystery Reader is during the SK Morning Meeting. Later that day, the Mystery Reader is revealed much to the delight of the related student, and they read a story or two to the class.
Throughout the fall, our two SK classes are enjoying a variety of Mystery Readers. To date, they’ve heard stories from Lindsay Mullenger P ’35, Chris Leonard P ’35, and Betty Spitzfaden P ’35, as well as two siblings of SKers: first grader Dexter H. ’34 and sixth grader Sloane Schwendinger ’29.
“Mystery Readers are such a memorable piece of the Senior Kindergarten experience,” said Hummel. “They are a fun way to mix up read-alouds with new faces and voices while still hearing examples of fluent reading. Mystery Readers also provides family members a chance to see their students in action and be part of our classroom community.”
This experience has been in place for the past 11 years. Current sophomores of the Class of 2025 were the first to experience this program. Additionally, through the pandemic, the program evolved to welcome readers into the SK classrooms virtually through Zoom. Students hear from family members located in other states and even in other countries!
Who will the next SK Mystery Reader be? We can’t wait for the next set of clues to help us find out! Happy reading, SK!