What happens when a brainstorm collides with a perceived community need and students with a passion for service? You end up with exciting programs such as the The D-B YES! club, of course!
Back in 2015, Roosevelt Elementary school counselor Alice Browder and Jackson Elementary family liaison Jaclyn Clendenen saw the potential for a unique peer mentoring program, in which Dobyns-Bennett students would connect with KCS elementary students that could benefit from having an older, positive role model. Since that time, junior and senior students who are members of the D-B YES! club have left school for a period of time during the day to travel to elementary schools and mentor younger students. It’s a terrific opportunity for elementary students to receive guidance and support from a new friend who can relate to them on a more personal level.
The program has been a booming success! All across the district, students are making meaningful connections with their peers with incredibly positive results. This week, let’s look at six bits of info about the D-B YES! program.
- Since beginning in Fall 2015, over 300 Dobyns-Bennett and D-B EXCEL students have participated in YES! and mentored a younger KCS student.
- Giving an average of 15 hours a semester, the total number of hours volunteered by D-B students through the YES! club is quite impressive… 2,250 hours in 2015-16, 3,450 hours in 2016-17, and an anticipated 3,900 hours this school year!
- Over 350 elementary students throughout KCS have received mentoring and support from a YES! mentor. The relationships established have made a significant difference for so many children!
- Currently, D-B YES! mentors are in all KCS elementary schools, impacting lives all throughout the district.
- Student meentees benefit greatly from the relationships developed with their high school peer mentors. These benefits extend far beyond the friendships developed, and include improved attendance, social and communication skills, academic achievement, and self esteem.
- Benefits are also felt by the high school student mentors. They share they have felt an increased sense of pride, an increased awareness of education as a possible career path, and have gained volunteer hours for organizations such as Beta Club, TN/VA scholars, and TN Promise.
Want to learn more about the D-B YES! program? Contact Roosevelt school counselor Alice Browder for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next week in the Saturday Six: Kingsport City Schools has a new leader, as Dr. Jeff Moorhouse is set to begin his tenure as KCS Superintendent. Next week, the Saturday Six will introduce you to the innovative and charismatic educator that will serve as the 9th Superintendent in the history of Kingsport City Schools.