Children First: Passing along peer mentoring tips - KOTA Territory News

Children First: Passing along peer mentoring tips


It's more than a mentoring program.

"We're putting kids together that normally might not be in the same room and they're sharing and finding out they have so many things in common with each other," says Rapid City Central High School's Tim McGowan.

Instead of Cobbler to Cobbler ... it's Cobbler to Thorpe or Rapid City to Pine Ridge.

"The hope is what they're doing well in Pine Ridge that we can tap into that energy and their beliefs and improve Rapid City Central. In the same way the Pine Ridge students are visiting with us today - we hope that maybe there's something they can pick up from us and they can take back to their school too," says McGowan.

Guidance Counselors Tim McGowan and Jessica Kanta run Central High School's peer mentoring program. The program seeks to put high school students in a position to guide their peers onto the right track. After seeing the success of Cobbler 2 Cobbler, administrators from Pine Ridge High School are seeking guidance to help them launch their own peer to peer mentoring program.

"We are hoping it will help with the dropout rate it will help with suicide rate, help alleviate some of the anxiety that freshman students tend to feel because of the transition between 8 and 9th grade. And just offer them more support all around to keep them in school and help them be successful," says Lynette Cumy, Assistant Principal of freshmen at Pine Ridge.

And students from Pine Ridge say they're already seeing positive results.

"When we first did our first mentoring thing with the freshman it really got them out of their shyness and now I see a lot of freshman actually talking with the juniors and seniors," says Junior Skyler Poor Bear.

It's that sense of community the peer to peer mentoring program hopes to achieve.

"I hope that they start some really healthy relationships that will influence everybody and affect them for the rest of their lives," adds Cumy.


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