Monday, August 20, 2012

Massachusetts Girl Scout Launches Peer Mentoring Program

In Massachusetts, The Enterprise reports that freshmen at East Bridgewater High School will have someone to show them the ropes when they begin school on Aug. 29 thanks to a new peer mentoring program that pairs them with upper classmen.

Kaeleigh Smith, 16, started the program to help her earn her Girl Scout Gold Award. She said she had an easy time adjusting to high school because she knew several upper classmen.

“I saw how hard it was for my friends who didn’t know anyone,” Smith said. “My brother is a freshman this year. I wanted him to have the same experience I had and I didn’t want it just to be for him.”

Smith said mentors will not just sit with freshmen at lunch and say hello to them in the hallways but will also give them tips on managing homework and help them find resources if they need extra help when progress reports come out. In addition, mentors and mentorees will work on a service project together.

Smith’s project began last spring when she sent out questionnaires to eighth graders asking them about what sports they intended to play when they got to the high school, what clubs they were interested in joining and whether they had any fears about beginning high school. She said nearly the entire class of 80-90 students signed up for a mentor.