The hope is to foster academic and personal growth and to establish connections that bridge transitions for students during their school career, she continued.
Last year, according to Baldo, the students visited the Museum of Science and Technology and were able to view the 3D version of Polar Express.
“In addition, a trip to Interskate 88 was scheduled last year as another opportunity to celebrate the relationships formed through mentoring,” she said. “Students also grew bulbs to plant at Woodside Hall in the spring. The plan is to continue this activity and to give back to the community. Past service includes assisting the Kid Garden located at the elementary school and sending holiday cards to in-patients at Bassett. We are excited that this year’s kickoff event is a trip to Howes Caverns that is taking place on Nov. 27.”
Merwin said the mentor program especially eases the transition for students moving from one building to the other. The elementary school houses kindergarten through sixth graders, whereas a year ago the sixth graders were included in the middle/high school.
Mae Loewenguth was among students who made the transition from the elementary school to the middle/high school this year. She said the mentor program has helped ease that process.
“I’m becoming more familiar with the older kids. I was used to being the oldest in the elementary school,” she said.
“I’m also gaining confidence with interacting with others,” she added.
Junior Aaron Idelson said he has two mentees, a seventh-grader and an eighth-grader.
“My sister was a mentee two years ago and had a great experience, so I wanted to do it,” he said.
The first-year mentor said his friends also encouraged him to get involved.
“It has given me a better attitude toward the younger students and has taught me patience,” he said. “I feel I have become more open toward the younger kids I don’t really know.”