How do schools teach empathy, responsibility and prevent bullying and exclusion? Buddy programs are one excellent idea. Starting this year, Scofield implemented The Preschool 4k and Second Grade Buddy Program. This buddy event is also a great way to help assist preschool students with the transition into the primary school.
Scofield’s second-grade class transformed the hallway, staircase, and classroom into a rainforest. For nearly a month, second-graders, using STEM education along with reading and writing, dived deep into researching and learning about rainforests.
The Preschool 4k and Second Grade Buddy Program Scofield
Three preschool 4k classes were given different rainforest animals to color. Then these 4k students took their animals into the second-grade classroom. Upon entering the classroom, Mrs. Craig, the second-grade teacher, who also is among the last in the community to teach cursive to children, and the second-grade students walked the young children into their rainforest.
Second graders looked on with pride as they gathered the 4k students into groups of four to five students, mentoring, and sharing their rainforest knowledge with the 4k students patiently and with tenderness while also taking pride in sharing their knowledge about rainforests.
There is something so sweet about a school buddy connection. Structured facilitated buddy systems help promote healthy mixed-age relationships and hone social skills. Not only does it promote warm feelings, but buddy events and programs enhance positive behaviors and feelings such as a sense of belonging, connection, and recognition.
Observing the Preschool 4k and Second Grade Buddy Program
It was enlightening to watch all the children work together taking turns to talk, listen, share knowledge, ask questions, and praise one another. Each second grader led their 4k buddies around showing and explaining the different rainforest levels.
Observation after the Preschool 4k and Second Grade Buddy Program
As the 4k students left, making their way back to their classroom, I listened and observed the second-graders’ comments such as, “I think we really taught them a lot about the rainforest”; “That was so much fun”; “Those little kids were so cute.” Especially the last comment about the little kids being so cute was made just as the 5th and 6th graders started walking by to descend outside to carpool. I looked down at my own second-grader standing there with his classmates and thought, but you all are still little kids as well.
The sense of responsibility and leadership each child in second-grade showed as if they were all of a sudden years beyond their actual age, as their motivation to be the best buddy possible in teaching and mentoring the younger students, matured them. The Preschool 4k and Second Grade Connection, buddy program at Scofield, was successful in promoting a positive educationally outcome for all students who will forever think a little differently about rainforests now.
Schools Constantly Struggle with Bullying and Exclusion Issues
One of the first things I noticed at Scofield, I haven’t observed to the same elevated self-aware level at many other schools, is the strong caring ethos they foster. It is a quite positive school culture & environment, encouraging inclusion, the act of helping, lack of entitlement, positive cross-age relationships, empathy & kindness, respect & responsibility.
This school review describes a true story involving what happened on the first day of kindergarten when I dropped my child off, and a moment involving some older boys and my child.
Buddy Program at Scofield
Scofield has several buddy programs happening throughout the school year. I loved being able to observe The Preschool 4k and Second Grade Buddy Connection first hand!
If you live in the Dallas, TX area, please call, 214-349-6843 to schedule a tour or just stop by for a tour of this wonderful school. Preschool-6th grade. After school-care as well as half day, full day, or a mix of both are flexibly offered at Scofield for 3k, 4k, and kindergarten. This is also an Elementary school (1st through 6th grades).
Feature photo credit: Jamie McCaffrey on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC