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Beresford Sees Success With Mentoring

February 27, 2012, 5:03 PM by Nicole Winters

Beresford Sees Success With Mentoring
BERESFORD, SD - Mentoring between an adult and a child has proven to be beneficial in many cases. But what about mentoring between two kids, a high school student and an elementary-aged student? In the Beresford School District, it's something they're seeing great success with.

Being the first to yell out the correct answer to a multiplication question brings a lot of excitement to this Beresford third-grade classroom.  And the person running the game helps keep that momentum going.

"It's kind of fun to get to know them, and get to relate to them," high school senior Sami Zoss said. 

Zoss visits the class everyday for about 45 minutes. She does it as part of a program in the district called Cross-Peer Age Tutoring.

"For my students, they love to see someone from the high school come down," teacher Deb Bonte said.

The program puts high school seniors in elementary school classrooms. Zoss plays with the kids, works with them on class work and assists Mrs. Bonte with whatever she may need.

"The help that I get from her when she comes down, she not only works with kids this way, she'll work with them individually if they need a little extra practice.  She'll help me correct papers; she'll help me do filing, lots of things," Bonte said.

Having a high school student come into the classroom is a benefit to these students because it's an age they look up to.

"By her coming down here and telling them how important it is for them to learn their multiplication facts or to make sure they're learning everything that is dispersed to them in class, it makes them even more excited about making sure they get their learning completed," Bonte said.

It's also beneficial for Zoss, who is able to get to know the younger kids and learn about responsibility and the importance of being a positive role model.

"It's just a really good program; I'm glad we have it," Zoss said. 

Judging by the high level of participation in this classroom, the younger students enjoy it too.

Zoss says working with the younger kids has been a learning experience for her.  She also mentors students outside of school as well.

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