Fifth-graders attending Boardman Glenwood Middle School got a warm introduction to middle school life on Friday as members of the WEB leaders program made them feel at home. WEB stands for Where Everyone Belongs and is a program that helps make the transition from elementary to middle school a little easier.
"This is the third year for this program," said Glenwood fifth-grade teacher Jenn Bartholomew. "This helps kids make new friends before school starts."
She said Glenwood draws from Stadium Drive, Market Street and Robinwood elementaries. It can be a little intimidated when the kids are placed in a mix of students they don't know. The WEB program solves that problem by giving the fifth-graders a chance to meet new friends prior to the start of school. They also get good tips on what middle school life is like from those who have been through it, namely the eighth-graders.
Photos by J.T. Whitehouse,Town Crier
Sitting in a group session of WEB (Where Everyone Belongs) on Friday morning are students Katelyn Snyder (WEB leader), Breanna Wallace, Allison Janak (WEB leader), Joseph Zahran, Noah Basista, Noah Ogan (WEB leader), Mikaela Crumilch, McKayla Bryan, and Joseph Strock. The WEB leaders are eighth graders who work with and welcome fifth graders to help with the transition from elementary school to middle school at Boardman Glenwood.
"WEB leaders are selected while in seventh grade," said Jenn Dravecky, WEB advisor and coordinator "They are chosen by their teachers based on students who would make good leaders and role models."
She said the selected kids from seventh grade meet prior to the end of the school year. Then, just before the start of the new school year, the WEB leaders that are entering the eighth grade are trained for two days to take charge of small groups of fifth-graders who they will mentor throughout the year.
On Friday, the WEB leaders, teachers and incoming fifth-graders got together for a morning of fun. They began the day together in the gym playing games and doing some fun exercises.
After the gym session, the kids split off into small groups that were each assigned to a classroom. At that point, it was kids only as the WEB leaders explained some tips for making it through middle school. The whole time, it was kids only with the leaders helping the fifth-graders get a feel for the new school experience.
"The orientation on Friday was a fun-filled morning of team building and getting to know you activities with great messages woven in as well," Dravecky said.
At the end of the morning, the fifth graders returned home better prepared to begin their first year of middle school at Glenwood, where everyone belongs.