Thursday April 26, 2018
At Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School (FHTMS), there is a special club just for girls that students have the opportunity to join. The appropriately named Girl’s Group is one in which South Burlington High School (SBHS) girls mentor middle school girls. The participants talk about life, play games, and get help with homework. Currently, there are ten high school mentors and 12 middle schoolers participating.
The group is organized in the fall and usually begins meeting in late December. Meeting weekly, every Wednesday, after school, the goal of the group, according to SBHS senior leader Grace Bever, is for middle schoolers to have a sense of mentorship and friendship from the older girls. For the high school mentors, they gain a sense of responsibility towards the young members and develop their leadership skills.
Girl’s Group is meaningful to two particular middle school girls interviewed. Eighth grader Vivienane Fogarty joined Girl’s Group because she wanted to have a chance to do homework and have help from high school students. From the program, she has developed better friendships with the other girls in the group. Also, as an eighth grader, she received assistance from her high school mentors in choosing the right classes for next year when she moves to SBHS.
Jayna Kett, a sixth-grade member, has had similar experiences to Fogarty. Kett joined Girl’s Group because she felt that it would be a good opportunity to bond with high schoolers and do homework. She enjoys participating in activities such as hearing stories and playing games. “Swish Swum Swam,” a game in which chairs go to the side when certain words are said, is her favorite. She highly recommends Girl’s Group to other middle school girls and plans to continue to participate next year.
While Girl’s Group is useful for the middle schoolers, it is also very valuable for the high school students. This year, Bever and fellow senior Abrianna DiStefano are the student leaders of the mentoring group. Both were mentors during their junior year and found it so rewarding they wanted to lead the group this year. DiStefano feels that Girl’s Group is valuable because, “high schoolers get to have a relationship with middle school girls and get help with work and guide them through the daily struggles of being a girl.” Bever adds that she has gained “knowledge on how young teenage girls think and better leadership and mentorship skills.” Both highly recommend that other female high school students join Girl’s Group as it is a fun and easy way to do community service while also being leaders to younger girls.
SOURCE: Zaneta Sulley, SBHS CDC Correspondent