Students Sail to Days of Programming

In mid-October, sixie peer mentor homeroom captains traveled to Thompson Island for a training program while sixies participated in a day of programming at Boston Latin School.

With the return of in-person learning, this year’s peer mentoring program is focusing on building community and rebuilding relationships. It is also aimed at helping sixies adjust to the new school environment, considering that their last full in-person school year was in fourth grade.

The three separate days of programming were divided by cluster. From October 18 to October 20, sixies were split into two groups; one indoors and one outdoors. The student support team met with the group inside, while senior homeroom captains and Thompson Island staff led outdoor team-building activities, including tug of war, trust falls and a presentation on core values.

Participant Karina Ryan (VI) says, “It was very fun. We did many activities to learn about each other.”

Boston Public Schools superintendent Dr. Brenda Casselius originally came up with the idea of partnering with Thompson Island, a longtime sponsor of BPS. This time, they covered all expenses for sending the homeroom captains to Thompson Island. The initial plan was to bring all of Class VI out to the island, but with so many students, it was not feasible due to the ferry capacity.

Associate Head of School Jonathan Mulhern recognizes the program as a way for juniors and seniors to get to know the new students of BLS. He notes, “It’s a really good opportunity to get to know younger kids and to serve as a role model.”

To help recruit peer mentors, an announcement was posted in the BLS Daily Bulletin. Then, the training session took place during W block on November 3. There were over 150 peer mentor applications, and while not all were selected, this year’s peer mentoring program had the lowest mentor-mentee ratio.

Overall, both sixie participants and junior and senior mentors agree that the program was a good way of getting to know each other.

Holly Sullivan (I), one of the homeroom captains for this year, reflects, “[I] got to learn more about how [to] interact with certain groups of students [and] I learned a lot about my own classmates.” She adds that the program helped her bond with those in her grade that she had initially not been friends with before.

In the future, BLS is planning to partner with familiar organizations such as the One Love Foundation for more programs in the winter or spring. Sixies officially participated in their first session of peer mentor- ing on November 17. The future of the peer mentoring program is looking optimistic.