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LEADERSHIP KNOWS NO AGE: Coesse kids buddy up for learning

October 10, 2013

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 Children’s Zoo. Photo contributed

COLUMBIA CITY — At Coesse Elementary School, there’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.

“These kids take pride in helping their buddy out,” Sheckler said. “They 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.”

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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