Sidekicks kick their first meeting to the side of success

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Sidekicks kick their first meeting to the side of success

The kids listen intently as the eighth graders talk to them.

The kids listen intently as the eighth graders talk to them.

Ms. Torrella

The kids listen intently as the eighth graders talk to them.

Ms. Torrella

Ms. Torrella

The kids listen intently as the eighth graders talk to them.

Rachelle Estinvil, Fall Editor

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This quarter, the SIDEKICKS program has kicked off with a bang. They mentored fourth graders at the elementary schools, because of their good attitude and ability to publicly speak.

The SIDEKICKS program started with a mindset. The school counselors wanted a group of well-rounded students. “We don’t always pick a student that has all As,” Ms. Torrella stated. “You have to be comfortable with public speaking, [a] good student, [have] good character, [and] be kind. You can’t get in trouble here at WMS.”

Following up with that criteria, there were many different reasons that certain sidekicks were chosen. Anthony Gonzalez thought that because of his other activities he was chosen. “When you’re in National Junior Honor Society, you’re kind of held to a higher expectation because we’re the ones who represent the school.” As president of NJHS, Gonzalez felt that “there’s a higher standard for [him] especially, because [he’s] leading and showing an example to the younger ones”.

When Gonzalez was at Mawbey Street Elementary School, the administrator there told him that he was a “natural-born leader” and that there was something indescribable about him in a leader way. Gonzalez felt “very proud of that”.

Ty Kobylakiewicz thought there were multiple reasons he was chosen, “I think I’m good with younger kids and my patience with them is fine. I like to set a good example of the school.” Just like Gonzalez, Kobylakiewicz is also in NJHS, therefore he thinks “that might have helped with [being chosen as a SIDEKICK]”.

A word of advice from Ms. Torrella for parents and teaching their kids about bullying: She thinks that they should learn about topics like these starting at Pre-K. “As soon as they enter school, their parents should be talking about it at home.” Most likely in simpler terms, since they might not understand what bullying is.

What the eighth graders taught might affect the future of the fourth graders in different ways. Erick Fraga explained how the topic might affect them, “Because we talked about setting goals, [which will] probably teach them about setting goals, [so] they’ll know what to do to achieve a goal.”

Ms. Torrella
The eighth graders teach the kids how to set goals.

Chloe Monsanto said that she thinks age might be a factor in how the fourth graders learn from them, “I think especially because we’re eighth graders, we know the most about middle school. We’re the oldest in middle school and the fourth graders can learn from us.”

After the trip, Caitlin McNish commented on her hopes from the trip, “Well, today we focused on goals and stuff, so I hope they focus on good goals and not slacking off on other stuff. And the other lessons, I hope they learn from those too.

“It opens their eyes a little bit.” Kobylakiewicz said. “They might not think it’s a lot that eighth graders are talking to them, but it is because we went through what they went through. It’ll inspire them to do good things, set good goals, and follow what SIDEKICKS do by being a good person in and out of class.”

Gonzalez viewed this as an opportunity, he said, “We represent the school, and that’s our opportunity to show the kids that there’s good in the school and make a different in the community to help the students there.”

Miss Torrella said all the students at Mawbey all did their part and led the sidekicks program.

This led into the characteristics that SIDEKICKS should have such as “kindness, [being a] good student [that is] able to talk to younger children. [They should] be honest about what goes on at the middle school. Bullying goes on here, schools are like that. So be honest.”

Here is a parting message from some of the SIDEKICKS to new students coming to WMS.

Gonzalez said to “expect the unexpected. Always be ready to work hard and treat others with kindness know matter what.”

McNish stated, “There’s really nothing to be scared of coming to a new school. It’s really not as big as you think it is. Some of the friends you have won’t be your friends anymore, but you’re gonna make new friendships.”

Fraga shared, “To not be nervous. And to try and find a group of people to hang out with, because throughout the school year you can talk and not be nervous around them.”

Kobylakiewicz wanted the kids to be responsible, “Do what you’re told, follow instructions, be responsible, don’t get on teachers’ bad side. Try and be a good role model, when you’re a 7th and 8th grader, try to set an example for the school and the younger kids.”

Monsanto gave a concise quote. “Stay on task with your schoolwork, pay attention in class, and try your best, because in the end, it’ll be worth it.”

 

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