Every other Thursday for almost two years, members of the West Feliciana High School volleyball team have enjoyed spending time with first-graders at Bains Lower Elementary, helping them improve their reading skills.

Coach Celeste Thornhill said the program, Saints Sisters, started four years ago with the high school baseball players and cheerleaders reading to several classes, and the volleyball players wanted to participate.

“They love it, they get a connection with the kids and that connection is they’re doing something good working with these kids,” Thornhill said.

All of the volleyball team members assist the first-graders unless they are involved in other sports.

There are 19 first graders involved in the program this year, and a typical day involves reading from books and then taking Accelerated Reader tests on laptops.

“It’s good bonding for the kids, and they are so excited when they come into the library and find out it’s their reading day with the volleyball players,” Bains librarian Linda Holmes said.