At St. Mary's School, we have "Buddy Classes." These are classrooms from different grade levels that meet routinely. The goal of the Buddy Classes is to create bonds between older students and younger students. The older students become role models for these younger students. There are many powerful examples when these classroom connections enhance our vital school community. One example, is the Kindergarten and fourth grade Buddies Thanksgiving Celebration. The day before Thanksgiving break began, our Kindergarten and fourth grade class enjoyed a story, feast, and watched the Mayflower movie. In the story, "Thanksgiving at the Tappletons'" by Eileen Spinelli, the Tappletons are preparing for a great Thanksgiving. But this year nothing seems to go right. First, the turkey slides down the icy hill and into the pond -- "plop! splash!" Then, the bakery sells out of pies. It looks like it's going to be a pretty bleak holiday, until Grandmother reminds everyone that there's more to Thanksgiving than a turkey and trimmings. In the story the family enjoys some non-tradition thanksgiving food (like butter sandwiches and juice boxes). The Kindergarten and fourth grade families at St. Mary's donated the same foods so the kids could "experience" the same Thanksgiving in the story and be reminded that family and friends are what's important. In the attached pictures, you'll see the joy from this mentor program at St. Mary's.
A special thanks to Becky Feagan who captures the "a picture is worth a thousand words" essence.