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Lincoln Mentor Group Helps Students Navigate Middle School

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Lincoln Mentor Group Helps Students Navigate Middle School
Posted on 12/22/2015
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Lincoln Middle School has a new peer mentoring program that pairs eighth-grade mentors with sixth-graders to help the younger students navigate middle school.

In early December, the Lincoln Mentor Group (LMG) completed its first trimester as a self-sustaining peer support network.

LMG consists of eighth-grade student mentors and their sixth-grade mentees who work together to develop academic skills and social connections within the Lincoln community.  LMG is the brainchild of Lincoln parent Roy Chatterjee and was created to foster relationships between newly rising students and older, more experienced peers.

The mentors were chosen from last-year’s seventh-grade class and were selected based on leadership qualities, academic performance and quality of character. The group spent several months learning the characteristics of good mentors, and participated in Rippleffect’s Outdoor Leadership Education (R.O.L.E) in order to increase their skills and effectiveness.

Over the summer, sixth-grade mentees were selected partially through recommendations from their elementary school teachers and were paired with mentors.  The eighth-grade mentors and their sixth-grade mentees met in September and participated in team-building exercises through Rippleffect, funded by a Painting for A Purpose grant written by Margaret Dow and Temor Wordag, two founding members of LMG.

Since those initial sessions at the start of the school year, the mentor/mentee pairs have met weekly under the supervision of Chatterjee and one of the school counselors, either Debbie Mazjanis or Peg Lane. The weekly meetings are a balance of academic check-ins, peer-guided lessons in navigating middle school, games and activities designed to increase engagement and positive attitudes toward school.

The search for a group of future mentors from the seventh-grade class is currently underway.  It is the hope that this year’s sixth-grade mentees will eventually become mentors when they reach eighth grade.