RANDOLPH - Elementary students boarded the Polar Express to learn with their mentoring buddies from Kristy Collvers' ninth grade English Language Arts class at the Randolph Academy. The students are also doubling as reading buddies to the younger group of students.
At the start of the school year, Ms. Collver got together with two other teachers, Mrs. Danielle Miller and Mrs. Kelley Liskow, to discuss an initiative that would bring the students together in a mentoring program. The project was celebrated during the holidays with a Polar Express party, in which the students read the book, watched the movie and had hot cocoa together.
"This relationship has improved the elementary students' behaviors as well as those of the ninth grade class who works with them," stated Ms. Collver. "It has gone over tremendously well," she said of the project. "Each student, elementary and high school, has an accountability partner, whether it be for behavior issues or just someone to talk to if they are having a bad day."
From left front row, Felix, Brandon, Mary and back row Danay, Angelo, Brad and Katherina celebrate Christmas with a Polar Express party with their mentoring buddies. After reading the book, students took part in a fun holiday activity in which they watched the Polar Express movie and kept warm while sipping hot chocolate; unmindful of the snow that accumulated outside their classroom. Inset shows the ticket that students presented to catch a ride on the Polar Express with their mentors.
In an endeavor to combine the Christmas season and do something educational, the teachers wanted to host a fun celebration for the students. They chose a Polar Express party theme. Students participated in educational activities together, one of which involved writing an ABC travel log; an A-Z account of the Polar Express story written from the student's point of view alphabetically.
"Our team is hoping this will give our students, who don't always have a Christmas celebration, a chance to celebrate the upcoming holiday with their "informal family," relayed Ms. Collver.