Peer mentors prepare middle school students for the struggles of high school

Members of the peers project team at Gibson Southern gave their presentations to the three middle schools in the area, including: Fort Branch, Haubstadt and Owensville last week. Grades six, seven and eight were given the opportunity to hear firsthand from high school students about relationships, internet safety, improving their character and how to deal with the difficulties of entering high school. 

“I really felt like we were making a difference in the lives of those students,”  junior Lexi Walker said. “I remember how the high school students talked to us in middle school. It really left an impact, so I am happy to pass along my knowledge.”

The girls in peers were separated into teams based on their lunch period and were sent to different schools at different times to give their presentations. “Some of the students were shy and others not so much, but they all paid attention really well and I hope that they took something away from our presentation,” Emma Kifer said. 

To make topics more interactive for the middle school students, the peer mentors played games with them. Uncomfortable topics such as internet safety and keeping relationships to a friendship level in middle school were improved by adding games and questions to help keep the attention of the middle schoolers. 

“I like the way that the games made serious topics easier to discuss and got the kids involved in what was being said,” Ashley Evetts said. “They seemed to pay attention a lot more when they were playing a game or standing up in front of the crowd.”

The goal of peers project is to prepare students for high school and teach them how to protect themselves from harmful relationships and substances. “I do Peers because I want kids to know and be prepared that there are definitely some challenges to high school,” Kifer said. “I want them to know that they always have people who can help them make good decisions even when others aren’t.”