High School mentors help Faith Lutheran sixth graders adjust to their new school

Kelsey Howryla, Staff Writer

Faith Lutheran sixth grade students meet once a month for an optional meeting with a high school mentor. These meetings last for an hour and help sixth grade students learn about different topics such as how to manage school and internet safety.

The mentor groups have 10-12 students in each, and a class consists of either all boys or all girls. Each mentor has an assigned sixth grade class room and a guideline to follow for each meeting.

“There are ice breaker activities, an introduction of the topic, a brief lesson, discussions, and a closing activity,” said middle school counselor Courtney Burns, via email.

Some sixth graders choose to not attend these meetings.

“I would say a good 6 show up, which is ok. But since it is on a late start, some just want to sleep in,” said middle school mentor Clara Heislen.

This is the second year Faith has done this program, and it helps sixth grade studnets adjust to Faith.

“We want to give new sixth graders a chance to connect with other students and be mentored by an older student,” said Burns.

Some students enjoy these meetings because of their mentor.

“I enjoy these meetings because my mentor is very nice,” said sixth grader Ellie Schwartz.

The reasons students don’t participate in these meetings vary.

“I don’t go to my mentor meetings because I like to sleep in on late start days,” said sixth grade student Olivia May.

Some of the seventh graders also did not attend their mentor meetings last year either.

“I never went to my meetings because they didn’t seem interesting,” said seventh grader Bella Hernandez.

Although some students do not enjoy these meetings, many do.

“I attend the meetings every single time, and I hope to never miss one,” said sixth grader Madison Pettigrew via email.

These meetings also help students throughout the year.

“These have affected me because I’ve kind of learned some really helpful tips about my social life and life in general,” said Pettigrew.

Each chosen through recommendation and interview, the mentors enjoy going to these meetings.

“I do enjoy going to these meetings because I like to see how sixth graders are doing and how they interact with each other,” said Heislen,” It is really fun having friends who are little.”

When interviewing mentors, Burns looks for certain characteristics.

“The older students are carfully selected and trained,” said Burns.“I look for kids who will be comfortable sharing and who will also make younger kids feel comfortable. I want students who will be good role models, but who won’t be intimidating to sixth graders.”