One of the advantages of working in a school with preschoolers through high schoolers is that we have unique opportunities for children of all ages to work together. One example of this is our Classroom Buddies program wherein GMLS students serve as big buddies to our littlest lions, the SDJA preschoolers. This year, students in grades kindergarten, second and fifth will have Classroom Buddies. The little buddies benefit from having an interesting and special “big kid” to help them learn. Little buddies feel more connected and have a familiar face to wave to on campus. An older child who is behind academically compared to his/her grade-level peers has a fantastic opportunity to be an academic expert which boosts their confidence. All big buddies benefit by developing a sense of empathy, their communication skills, their patience and they also reinforce their own academic skills as they work to explain and teach.
Fifth graders meet with their preschool buddies once a month to mentor, teach technology tools, and engage in other fun activities. Last week, fifth graders partnered with their preschool buddies to make the pledge to #choosekind. They spent time together discussing what kindness looks like and writing kind messages around the school.
Second graders buddy up with Ilanot and Prachim students every other week for “Reading Buddy” time. The second graders enjoy reading books to their preschool friends and the children write and draw together in their Buddy Folders.
Kindergarten buddy activities will be starting up this fall.