Buddy Program Enhances Social-Emotional Learning Skills across Grades

Buddy Program Enhances Social-Emotional Learning Skills across Grades

In this week's WAB podcast, we have the pleasure of hosting Grade 4 student Aubrey and Grade 8 student Dakota, along with Elementary School teacher Suzie Sizemore and Middle School counselor Rachel George. They will be sharing their experiences  in Grade 4 to Grade 8 Buddy Program, its goals, how it worked, and its impact. 

Aubrey from Fourth Grade shared how much fun she had participating in the Buddy Program. By connecting with her eighth-grade mentor, she gained a deeper understanding of what middle schoolers are like and discovered the many ways they are similar. Aubrey emphasized that the more she understood her buddy, the stronger their connection became. 

Grade 4 teacher Suzie highlighted that for Elementary School students, it's beneficial to have a connection with an international peer learner from our web community who has already experienced different grades. Fourth graders are provided with role models to look up to, who can guide them, provide feedback, and share their unique perspectives as international learners. 

Rachel, the Head of Middle School Counseling, highlighted that the Buddy Program aims to facilitate the social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum, which includes self-awareness, social awareness, and relationship skills. Observing Grade 8 students in action and applying those skills while mentoring younger students allows them to practice and internalize these valuable abilities. 

Grade 8 student Dokata pointed out that through participating in various activities, she and her mentee discovered common interests and similarities, despite the grade gap. She also acknowledged the positive impact of the Buddy Program on her own development of social-emotional learning skills. 

To learn more about the Grade 4 and 8 Buddy program, be sure to tune in to this episode.  

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