Older students at Coesse Elementary School are partnered with kindergartners and first graders in a mentoring program. In this buddy system, students work together on a variety of classroom projects and field trips. Pictured, from left, are Chris Bartol, Isaiah Wolf, Kody Leckrone, Collin Ream, Clay Ousley and Ayden Maley on a recent field trip to the Fort Wayne Childrenâ€™s Zoo. Photo contributed
COLUMBIA CITY â€” At Coesse Elementary School, thereâ€™s no age limit when it comes to being a role model.
Students are paired up in a buddy program that places older elementary students in a mentoring role.
The program has been around for several years, and according to Lori Heuer, a fourth-grade teacher, and Jessica Sheckler, a third-grade teacher, mentoring opportunities have brought out the best in their pupils.
â€śThese kids take pride in helping their buddy out,â€ť Sheckler said. â€śThey know they are responsible for what their buddy is doing. Because of that, the older students are better behaved and follow directions better. They want to set a good example.â€ť
Once a week, kindergarten children pair up one-to-one with third graders and first graders are matched up with fourth graders.
As a pair, the classes join together for reading and math activities as well as field trips.
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