Pictured are Carolina Ponce, left, and Gaby Almendarez were the first students at Southern Oaks Middle School this year to win a prize for participating in lunch time book buddies. Reading teacher JoAnn Conard’s fourth period class came to the media center three weeks ago and selected books to read with a partner. The students could read at home or during silent reading time at school. After the students read a chapter, they would meet at lunch time with their partner and discuss the chapter. Students are encouraged to talk about connections they have with the story, characters, likes and dislikes, etc.  Media specialist Cathy Odom and Ms. Conard meet with the students for about five minutes each week to model what the conversation should look like. They also sit in on student conversations to help them  with their discussions. One student in each group records the discussion and the paper is turned into Ms. Odom. Students who participate are eligible for a prize from the media center.