Having students help students with service learning is not a new concept, but it is one that is increasingly customized for specific schools.
In Matt Stroup’s service learning class at Williams Intermediate School, students take the time to head over to Adams Elementary school on weekday mornings, and help younger students.
Eighth grader Kate Paustian is in Stroup’s class. She works with kindergartners.
“I love working with little kids and I’ve really gotten close to some of these kids. I couldn’t ask for a better class,” said Kate.
She and 62 other middle school students take the walk to Adams to help with students in 37 classrooms, or in the office.
“We wanted to help build a connection between the elementary and intermediate school, so the little kids can see what’s ahead for them, and the older kids can see what it’s like, helping young children,” said Kristin Huggins, an associate principal at Williams.
Over three dozen teachers have embraced the concept, along with Adams principal Laura Flynn.
Stroupe is the social studies teacher at Williams, and says the service learning class is progressing well. In addition to Adams Elementary, students also help out with community projects, such as a food pantry.
Prior to starting their projects, Stroup spent an week showing students how to get around the elementary school, how to behave, and how to safely cross streets.
“They were prepared,” he said.