Terese Hodgdon, Secretary at Noble Middle School in MSAD 60.
In an effort to accommodate students who might be in need of more individualized attention, Noble Middle School (NMS) is one of the only institutes that has school-wide implementation of a program called BARR – Building Assets, Reducing Risks – with our staff. The Teams meet twice a month to discuss (among other things) students who would benefit from said attention. Part of the discussion is to find ways to form a connection between the student and school and to give them favorable interactions with adults so that they want to come to school. Realizing that some students may be in need of positive role models, we try to fill that void.
Kristen Hobbs, Intervention Coordinator for MSAD 60, says, “School isn’t just about academics. It is about social and emotional learning.” Mrs. Hobbs has played an integral part in organizing solutions to this issue.
As such, NMS has partnered with Big Brothers/Big Sisters to bring in matches for students. Currently, there are four pairs at Noble Middle School and 2 more at the High School in the 8th Grade. The Big Brothers and Big Sisters come to the school during the school day to meet with their Littles to do community service and play games. There have been multi-year matches that see the students through the middle school grades.
In addition, several years ago, Noble Middle School also implemented a Mentor Program. It pairs students up with an adult in the building – they could be teachers or support staff, even some retired teachers and admin have joined in. There are currently 28 Mentor/Mentee matches in the building.
The Mentor Program focuses on positive interactions with students and adults. Getting together at Squire Time or during lunch or recess, the pairs can eat lunch together, play games, work on projects or discuss interesting topics. During the warmer months, there are picnics and walk-abouts.
It might be hard to decide who enjoys themselves more – the Mentors or the Mentees – but one thing is certain. There are plenty of smiles being shared.