Stevensville School District has had an advisory program up and running for a few years called Connecting Classrooms, in which classrooms of different grades are “buddied up” with one another. Once a month, each class “connects” with its buddy class and engages in some project together.
Elementary School Principal Jessica Shourd said that the Connecting Classrooms program grew out of the school’s anti-bullying program as a way for students to form bonds and for older students to serve as mentors for the younger ones.
“We feel like if kids care enough about one another, with other, older kids as mentors, I think we’ll see a lot of people standing up to bullying,” said Shourd.
Shourd also felt like it would be a good program to extend out into the community and the idea of joining the annual community clean-up was born. So, not only did the school grounds get cleaned up last week, but the effort spilled over into the community and the whole town got a good clean-up as well.
“We want to encourage students to be good stewards of their community but also instill an interest in volunteering because so much gets done in our communities in this fashion,” said Shourd.