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Big Dog-Little Dog enters fourth year

October 3, 2018
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

On Wednesday (Sept. 26) Poland Union Elementary School students had some extra help as they completed their lessons for the day. Students from Poland Seminary High School showed up to take part in the Big Dog-Little Dog program, now in its fourth year.

The program was started by Union's Principal, Mike Masucci. "Big Dog-Little Dog" is a mentoring program, partnering Poland Seminary High School students with K- second grade students at Union.

"This program capitalizes on the great kids we have at PSHS. They arrive at Poland Union and bring smiles to the faces of their young friends," said Masucci.

Article Photos

Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier

Poland Seminary High School juniors Gabby Romano, Emily Frost, Katie Masucci, and Taylor Schmid took the first shift at Poland Union Elementary School on Wednesday morning as the Big Dog-Little Dog program kicked off for the fourth year. The successful program has high schoolers assisting their younger counterparts to help them understand lessons in the classroom.

The Union students seem to love having older students visit the classroom and help explain a lesson or help individually to better understand the course of study. For the Union teachers, the high school students are a big help.

"They are such great role models," said second grade teacher Alyssa Patrick. "My students look up to them and think it is so neat to have them come into the classroom."

Patrick said it is sometimes hard to deal one-on-one with a student who needs to catch up, or needs a little extra help to understand a lesson. The high school students often fill those spots and provide that service.

Some "Big Dogs" read with elementary students, help teachers and some are just a friend for students for the day. In some cases, they may be a high school sports figure, cheerleader, or band member. It means a lot when that high schooler comes in to help the younger kids.

Upperclassmen follow program guidelines and requirements, and are also required to have parental consent to participate in the program. A student can only volunteer if it doesn't interfere with his or her academics.



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