Bolles Middle School Bartram Campus WEB Leaders (“Where Everyone Belongs”) play a pivotal role in the School’s efforts to strengthen peer relationships and develop community values. The students, who are trained and organized by classroom teacher Laura Lane and middle school guidance counselor Brynne Plant, plan events throughout the year to build a student community grounded in The Bolles Way: Pursuing excellence through courage, integrity and compassion.
Initiated on the Middle School Bartram Campus in 2011, the WEB program is part of the internationally recognized Boomerang Project, which seeks to make middle and high schools great, safe and connected places for kids to learn. The WEB program at Bolles involves eighth grade student leaders serving as mentors to sixth grade students.
“Peer mentoring is a win-win for students,” Plant said. “The eighth graders learn leadership and group management skills and take pride in looking out for and mentoring sixth graders,” Plant said. “The sixth graders look up to the eighth graders and learn strategies from them as well as how to build relationships across grades, which really makes a positive difference in the school community.”
The first post-orientation WEB event occurred during the second week of school. WEB leaders reviewed with younger peers the “Words of Wisdom” on how to be successful in middle school. Students heard from WEB leaders about their strategies for success and then brainstormed as a group on what has worked so far in Grade 6. Students then wrote down individually three strategies they planned to work on throughout the school year.
“The plan is for WEB leaders to meet with sixth graders in groups at least twice a month for ‘academic’ follow-ups that address tools for time management improvement, study skills, friendships and conflict as well as ‘social’ follow-ups like the one we had last week – those are more fun and involve teamwork and relationship-building activities,” Plant said.