LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) -This year, 7th and 8th grade students at Lufkin Middle School will have the opportunity to mentor 6th graders through the Ignite Mentoring Program, which focuses on peer to peer mentoring for 6th graders lead by 7th and 8th graders.
“I think I helped them break out of their shell some,” said 8th grade mentor Emily Awtrey.
“And I helped them get out to socialize more with people they haven’t talked to like different types of people,” said Sochia Hernandez.
After training, 7th and 8th graders go into the 6th grade classrooms and teach students a 40-minute lesson once a month on a variety of different topics.
This month the lesson will be on Star Learner, which will provide students with study skills and focus on academic success and strategies to help them be successful.
“They help us with studying and learning about other people and being kind and just like being friends with others and getting to know them,” said Jazlynn O’Neal.
For other mentees like 6th grader Uriel Beltran in the program, he said having a peer to peer relationship helps him express himself.
“Because they are not much older than us, they are just a little older than us when the teachers are really older than us because we are still in the stage where we have to talk to people our age and we normally don’t get to do that because we have our teachers,” said Beltran.
Although the mentors are hard at work teaching their peers, they have also learned from the program and say it’s beneficial to help students early on in.
“It would have helped release some of the stress I guess from the transition to a little school from a huge middle school, it would have helped a lot,” said Awtrey.
There are a total of 150 7th and 8th grade mentors and 600 6th graders in the mentoring program.