Young Teens Teach and Mentor Younger Students

By: Marcus Washington
By: Marcus Washington

July 28, 2005

It's a summer school program with a twist. A fun way of learning has several students excited. At Baker- Butler Elementary school, there is a program that motivates students to learn during the summer.

For Allegra Turner, going to 2nd grade, her first day was a big surprise.

"The first day I came here I was like shocked because everybody was here from different schools and some were here from this school," said Turner.

Baker-Butler's Enrichment Summer program surely isn't your traditional summer school. Students are able to take virtual tours around the word and even outer space.

It's an all inclusive enrichment camp for students who want to participate in fun learning as well as students that needed to maintain skills through out the summer.

The program is also open to middle school kids. They aren't the students, but as teachers, teaching the little ones.

"I'm just very glad that I got to experience something like this and I hope one day I'll become a teacher, because I really like doing this," said Shaiqua Alen, Middle School Tutor.

Students from Sutherland Middle School who participate in the enrichment program are given a buddy. They're responsible for that student and keeping track of what he or she learns.

Jay Smith, 7th grade Sutherland Middle School teacher, says the experience will not only teach the middle school students leadership roles, but they also can experience what the day of a teacher is like.

"[This is to] teach kids to reach other students. So that they weren't hearing the same things from teachers over and over again," said Smith. "[It's] to give a middle school student the opportunity to mentor, work with, and get and an understanding of what it's like to be a teacher by working with an elementary school student."

The program started with a group of teachers who dreamed of giving kids a fun summer learning program that was open to all children.

"[I did it] because I don't believe there's very much out there that keeps children or that gives children a hands on experience for learning in fun environments," said Sue Davies, Summer Program Principal.

The students' last day is tomorrow and to celebrate, all students will have an ice cream party and a gift exchange between the elementary and middle school students.

Barnes and Nobles donated 64 books for the gifts.

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