BATH TWP.: It’s one thing to be a busy senior in high school, juggling the normal academic workload as well as being part of the school district’s football team or playing with the high school marching band. It’s quite another thing to be do all of that and also be willing to reach down to younger students and take the time to be their buddies or mentors.
That’s exactly what happened between some of the students at Revere High School and the fourth and fifth grade students at Bath Elementary School. According to BES Principal Dan Fry, it was a win-win for everybody.
“The Bath School students definitely benefit from building a relationship and working with the RHS students,” said Fry. “The RHS students are role models to the younger kids, and the Bath students look up to them and want to emulate their success.”
The high school students visited each homeroom at BES and read a short story from “The 7 Habits of Happy Kids” by Sean Covey, a book the Revere Schools are using as the springboard for character and leadership education. The seniors then led the students in a classroom discussion about some of those habits.
“They focused on what these habits mean to fourth and fifth graders, and they talked about how high school seniors use the same habits every day to be successful in academics, sports, band and extra-curricular activities,” said Fry.
Interestingly, Fry explained that before the interaction among students, the fourth and fifth graders learned about the seven habits and character traits primarily from their teachers and adults at school. And while the younger students do learn from teachers and adults, there is nothing quite like the impact of older buddies or mentors.
“When they learn from the RHS students, they see the ‘real life’ benefit,” said Fry. “Hearing about the importance of responsibility and respect, for example, from their mentors makes it more meaningful than hearing it from their teachers and parents over and over again.”
But it’s not just the younger students who benefit from this partnering and mentoring. Fry said that the older students also gain through the involvement.
“It gives them the seniors the opportunity to speak in front of a group of people and interact with the students,” he said. “They take on a leadership role and develop a connection with the younger students. Any opportunity to develop partnerships between schools and students in the district benefits all of the kids involved.”
This has been such a positive experience that teachers, principals and coaches hope to continue it throughout the school year.
“We plan to involve a different RHS group or team each month,” said Fry, “so that the Bath School students are exposed to as many students and activities as possible.”