South Middle School sixth-graders were off to a successful start to the school year with a little help from their eighth-grade buddies through the district’s LINK program.
LINK, which stands for Lynbrook Students Independently Networking Kids, helps ease the transition for incoming sixth-graders.
Approximately 85 eighth-graders volunteered to help incoming sixth-graders this year. During the first week of school, each sixth-grader was paired with an eighth-grade LINKer and met in small groups to participate in icebreaker activities. The older students spoke about their middle school experiences and answered questions about sports, clubs, lockers and classes. The LINKers will keep their connections going throughout the year with events such as a bagel breakfast in October.
“It’s great to see the sixth-graders building bonds with the older students,” said guidance counselor Jennifer Arena, who created the program more than a decade ago. “The extra support they receive gives them the confidence to make the most of all the new challenges and opportunities that await them in middle school.”
The older students also reap many rewards. In acting as role models, they enjoy an extra sense of responsibility and gain valuable leadership skills along the way.