Spreading Positivity

The mission of the Sister School Project

Carter Morrissey

Among the wide variety of clubs and organizations at West, the Sister School Project continues to grow. Led by senior Matthew Pecoraro, the team visits students at Dardenne and Twin Chimneys Elementary schools every month. During each visit, mentors play an ice breaker game, present a lesson and spend any extra time playing games. The goal of the program is to provide guidance and advice for elementary schoolers while creating fun memories during the process.

“I believe that we are teaching kids how to be kind, caring and helpful to others,” senior Maddie Marshall said. “We always put a smile on eachothers faces, and it’s rewarding to realize how much they look up to us.”

In the Sister School program, there are three different positions that a member can attain. The mentors are responsible for presenting the lesson and creating a positive atmosphere. The group facilitators are in charge of communication between groups and leaders, as well as meeting with leaders to discuss future plans. The leaders are responsible for planning lessons, communicating with elementary school staff and organizing the meetings and visits.

“I joined Sister School this year, and I have loved every second of it,” senior Leilani Jarosz said. “I was selected to be a group facilitator, so I lead my small group. At times, it can be challenging, but it feels so good to be in the position that I am.”

Sister School members visit classrooms on one Wednesday per month.

“Since we visit the elementary schools on early release days, the timing of everything is a lot easier,” Marshall said. “Some days, I will have practice after the visit, but I am still able to make it on time.”

The Sister School program will be looking for new members to join in the 2019-2020 school year; all one has to do is apply.

“I would encourage anyone interested to join,” Jarosz said. “This program has been very influential in my life. Seeing the positive impact that I am able to make on the kids is so rewarding.”

The program provides an experience for students who are interested in pursuing careers in education or working with children, as well as opportunities to gain A+ and National Honor Society points. Above all of the perks, the true reward lies in the interactions between high school and elementary students.

“When we visit the elementary schoolers, I know that it has a positive impact on both of us,” Jarosz said. “Each time we walk into the classroom, every kid has a huge smile on their face. By remembering small details about their lives, we are able to show that we truly care about them.”

Any interested students should contact Matthew Pecoraro at [email protected].

Photo by Carter Morrissey. Senior Leilani Jarosz engages with students.