The following is a letter to Stoddert parents from Ms. Hoyt about a new art-based program at school.
Dear Stoddert Families:
Stoddert’s new art-based mentoring program began on Tuesday, October 13, 2015. This voluntary, after-school collaboration between The Lab School and Stoddert is called Eye to Eye, and it serves to remind students of what their inherent strengths are. Eye to Eye pairs high school Lab students with learning differences who are trained to engage with elementary school students with ADHD, LD, or other learning differences. Activities are based upon a national curriculum to increase self-advocacy skills, self-esteem, and awareness of preferred learning styles through art.
The two groups of children were introduced to each other through the creation of name tags and discussion of an art room constitution. Two student coordinators took on leadership roles, providing a “camp counselor type” of energy to get participants talking and doing Each high schooler was a unique individual who displayed an interest in beginning to bond, learning about Stoddert kids, sharing parts of themselves, and creating an accepting atmosphere. The mentors were continually scoping out the room for students who needed help engaging with activities or needed help following behavior prompts. The beginnings of relationships were seen glowing in different areas of the room during their snack time.
Stoddert students loved absorbing the attention and meeting older students who were curious about their interests. They were able to generate their own rules for the time spent together, which included being respectful, asking for help, and having fun. Their eyes widened when there was mention of an outdoor icebreaker and a “surprise” next week. And, the Lab School adult facilitator and I discussed inviting a couple more interested Stoddert students to join us before the mentor/mentee pairings in a couple weeks.
For more information on the program, please visit Eye to Eye’s website at www.eyetoeyenational.org.
School Social Worker