Peer Mentoring Program Beneficial for All Involved

By: Carly Stephenson Email
By: Carly Stephenson Email

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV)-- Students at Montevideo Middle School are taking part in a peer mentoring program.

It provides a chance for them to work with kids who have special needs.

Stephen Cosby, an 8th grade student at Montevideo Middle School, said, "Well I think it's a really good opportunity to help kids."

Stephen is currently mentoring a student in math.

After completing different tasks, they get to check them off the list.

Kim Sass who is a teacher at Montevideo Middle School explained, "They have a picture schedule in the classroom that the kids follow and then next to the picture schedule is a tag that says what they're job is for that day."

Each student has their own tasks based on performance.

Sass, who is also the head of the ID autism program at the school, said that this program goes beyond mentoring. The 7th and 8th grade kids who teach become friends with those they mentor.

She went on to say, "they'll go to the cafeteria and eat lunch with them and they'll want to sit with us. Or our kids don't all sit together they go out and sit with the peers."

Sass believes that, "It's making them more equal and they're finding more friends this way."

Students involved in the program agree.

Garrett Samuels, a 7th grade mentor, said, "If somebody makes fun of Special Ed kids you can tell them not to because you know that they need this and they need to be helped. And they can't help it."

Kim Sass believes this program is beneficial for not only the kids being mentored, but the students doing the mentoring as well, "They're going to be the ones who are the employers and so that they're going to go and say oh I've seen a kid like this and I can work with them and I just have to do these things to get it so that they can be employed."

This program has grown to become very popular. Last year it was the most requested elective, about 120 kids applied to be mentors but there was only room for 40 kids.


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