Riverside starts new mentoring program

Riverside starts new mentoring program

LAKE CITY, AR (KAIT) - Riverside High School started a new mentoring program this school year.

The program is meant to help 7th and 8th graders have a smoother transition to high school, and the people helping them are their peers in 11th and 12th grade.

Two teachers, Megan Priest and Matt Ziegler, helped start the program when they saw a need for the younger students.

The need was based off of data, attendance, behavior in school, test scores and teacher input.

The program helps make the transition to switching classes and staying organized easier while having an older mentor to turn to.

"In planning we had to research other school districts and other mentoring programs that were successful and we wanted to tailor those successful components to meet our school's needs," Priest said.

The students will learn organizational skills, academic success goals and even social media safety from their mentors.

The program is set up for the mentors and younger students to meet formally once a month and then informally once a week, so the younger student feels comfortable coming to their mentors for advice.

One senior mentor, Rockland McCall, is excited for the program.

He told Region 8 News this program will help the older students just as much as the younger ones.

He hopes to be someone the younger kids can turn to for advice and he also wants to have some fun with the program.

"Make sure everything is a little bit fun because otherwise this can seem really overbearing and like you're being forced to do it and I don't want it to seem like that, I want it to seem like we are actually trying to help them and help them have a good time this year," McCall said.

Teachers and students are excited for the start of the program, but so is the community.

Community members have already donated money and supplies to the program including T-shirts, planners and jump drives.

"We are very blessed to live in the community we live in, Lake City and Caraway, it was so easy to raise money for this," Zieglar said.

The first monthly meeting was held last Friday.

Older students wanting to be a mentor had to apply to the program and the ones involved so far are excited to see where it goes.

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