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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow GUIDES EASE FEARS AT LMS



REACHING OUT: Britney Gray, Calvin Howard, Josef Mielke, Becky Holt and Abby Kenny, left to right, work on a project this week. The eighth-graders will be serving as student guides at La Grande Middle School. (The Observer/DICK MASON).
REACHING OUT: Britney Gray, Calvin Howard, Josef Mielke, Becky Holt and Abby Kenny, left to right, work on a project this week. The eighth-graders will be serving as student guides at La Grande Middle School. (The Observer/DICK MASON).

By Dick Mason

Observer Staff Writer

Many seventh-graders will have bewildered looks on their faces when classes start at La Grande Middle School Tuesday.

They will be looking for classrooms in an unfamiliar building and might be using lockers for the first time.

The seventh-graders need not fear, though, for about 40 eighth-graders will be standing by to give them a hand. The eighth-graders will help the seventh-graders find their classes, open their lockers and open their eyes to a new and exciting world.

The schools student guides want to ease the transition process for the students entering the school for the first time.

We remember what it was like to be seventh-graders, said guide Morgan Bonney.

Bonney said she understands how tricky it can be to use a locker for the first time. Some lockers need a special push or pull.

It can be a magic trick, said Becky Holt, another student guide.

Holt wants seventh-graders to realize that they can go to eighth-graders for help.

Just because we (the eighth-graders) are older does not mean that they should feel intimidated, Holt said.

All student guides were nominated by teachers based on how helpful, friendly and responsible they are. All the guides received at least three nominations; some had up to seven.

It is a great group, said LMS counselor Mary Lu Pierce.

Pierce started the guide program about 15 years ago and has been its adviser. The program has been successful because the guides take pride in their positions.

It is an honor, said student Annie Miles.

Tyler Dretke said he looks forward to reaching out to the seventh-graders.

Many of my friends are seventh-graders, he said.

The student guides do much more than than help the younger students during their first week.

Guides also serve as advisers for students throughout the year, giving them tips on how to be successful in class and get along with others.

One of the tips Larissa Sieders will give students is, Stay away from the clickers. Clickers is another word for cliques, groups whose members exclude others who are unlike them.

It is not good to push people out just because they are different, Sieders said.

This fall all student guides will receive training in peer mediation, allowing them to serve as mediators throughout the school year, doing things like helping to settle student disputes.

Student guides do not have to serve as peer mediators, but they all must receive the training.

The guides also will be involved throughout the year in service projects. These include work in drug and alcohol prevention programs.

Guides also will be responsible for presenting balloons and cards to each student in class on his or her birthday. Pierce said that the guides take remarkable steps during their year spent helping others.

They grow so much it is incredible, Pierce said.

... They get satisfaction from helping others, and they have fun.


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