Wyandot 'Little Stars' Build Relationships with East 'Big Stars'

Wyandot 'Little Stars' Build Relationships with East 'Big Stars'
Posted on 10/02/2017
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Stars mentor program photoIt's not every day Lakota East juniors and seniors have to squeeze into first grader-sized chairs. But for the remainder of the school year, it will be a ritual every other Wednesday for about 35 East students who have volunteered for the mentorship program.

A little over a month into the new school year, Lakota East's "big stars" had their first opportunity to meet their Wyandot Early Childhood "little stars". One by one, first-graders entered the school cafeteria to find their new high school friend. They spent the next half hour coloring, playing games, and most importantly, listening to each other.

"It's all about building relationships," said Wyandot ECS Counselor Jennifer Gillum, who said "big star" participation has nearly doubled over last year's inaugural program. "Our older students may never fully realize just how big of an impact 30 minutes of their week is having on our little ones. Even if they don't remember their names years from now, they'll remember how that person made them feel."

Students were selected for the program on a referral basis. "There's no single profile. It's meant for any students who may benefit from a little extra one-on-one attention," Gillum said.

For every visit, the student volunteers are responsible for bringing a one-on-one activity they can lead their "little stars" in. Lakota East junior Tyler Wilkerson brought his younger brother's oversized art set.

"I thought it was a great chance to give back to the community that helped raise me," said Tyler, who was flooded with memories of his days as a Wyandot student the first year the building opened. "I would have loved to have something like this at school to look forward to."

Lakota East senior Raquel Emrick heard about the opportunity through her involvement in East's Student Athlete Leadership Team (SALT). "I thought it would be fun and it was. My little star had so much to share already!"

Lakota West will be teaming up with a few West feeder schools for a similar program in the coming weeks.