by Perla Jiménez, La Voz Editor
Students from a variety of extracurricular activities, including Students Helping Accept Diversity in Every Situation (S.H.A.D.E.S), Operation Snowball and Latino Club had the opportunity to mentor a group of fourth grade students from Mark Twain Elementary School.
The mentoring program aims to set positive role models for the elementary students to look up to and confide in. WHS students will not tutor or teach the students, but they will work on creating a trust-based relationship with them.
“The (Twain) kids were in awe,” Raymundo Galarza, social worker, said. They asked me ‘and we’re gonna be working with high school kids?’”
The mentoring program also aims to help counter the advances of drugs, gangs and other negative factors.
The students looked forward to the day as a way to give back to the community and create a positive growing environment for the kids.
According to Polly Draganova, junior, so many students wanted to help out that they have outnumbered the elementary students.
The first meeting of the program focused on introductions and games. The students played “the M&M game,” where the kids and mentors took turns picking out M&M’s, and depending on the color of the M&M, they answered a question about themselves or their interests.
They also played “people to people” and other activities that let the mentors and students step out of their comfort zones to get closer together.
Tyler Levy, senior, said the first meeting was very successful because “the kids were very open and willing to talk.”
The group plans to begin pairing off individual mentors with each fourth grade student.
“I’m a little worried about it because I know how awkward it can be… Especially since now we’re going into more emotional topics,” Levy said.
Students started mentoring on Nov. 7. The program will take place every Wednesday over six weeks.
This program hopes tocontinue in spring 2013.