BIDWELL — Upperclassmen from River Valley High School spent a day recently learning to better help upcoming freshman for the new 2017-18 school year.
Juniors and seniors are a crucial part of the Freshman Foundations (FF) program, now entering its fourth year. This year’s seniors are the first class to be in the program as both mentors and students.
“It gives a different perspective than just getting your schedule and looking around the building” said T.R. Edwards, principal at RVHS. “It’s some team building, building relationships with upperclassmen, and making sure each kid has one person that they’re connected with.”
FF kicks off with Freshman Orientation, where each student is paired with an upperclassmen mentor that can help guide them into high school and overcome transitional woes. Upperclassmen that want to be a mentor have to apply to be in the program and are assessed on their involvement in the school and their ability to make relationships.
“The first thing we look for is a variety of kids and their interests and what they’re involved in. We want kids involved in lots of things around the school” said Edwards. According to Edwards, this variety helps ensure each freshman is most likely to have a commonality with their mentor.
One senior is glad to be part of the program and excited to help incoming freshman. Hannah Hawks was a freshman during the first year of the program.
“I really enjoy doing it. I had a good class to help build from and have friendships,” said Hawks. The mentors are studying healthy habits for teens and Hawks intends to take advantage of that knowledge in helping new freshman.
Nathaniel Abbott was also a freshman in the inaugural year of FF.
“It really helped a lot. It made me a lot more comfortable talking to the upperclassmen. It gave me a person for support when I needed it,” Abbott said.
Several other students now mentoring spoke highly of the success of Freshman Foundations and joined the program to help others come along behind them.
Edwards said of the benefits of the program, the first was to increase school spirit and build the school community.
“This year we’re focusing on the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens, which builds from a district focus more on those habits” said Edwards. According to Edwards, this program is about River Valley Students helping River Valley students, building a community, and promoting success in the students.
Freshman orientation will be Monday Aug. 21 from noon to 5 p.m., with Chromebook distribution at 5 p.m. A legal guardian or parent will have to be present to receive a Chromebook. Schedules will be disbursed for freshmen at orientation and afterwards in the office. All other students can begin to pick up their schedules on Aug. 18 in the school office.
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342 ext 2108.