Youth Together High School Interns Building Community with Incoming 9th Graders
It can be very scary and intimidating for incoming 9th graders to adjust from a small school site to a massive campus with three times as many students and faculty. Sometimes not feeling apart of a school community in the very beginning of the academic year can often lead to negative impacts such as chronic absence, lower grade point averages, and even dropping out. During the summer of 2017, seven high school interns from Youth Together facilitated community building activities for 206 of Skyline’s newest incoming freshmen. For five weeks (June 19 – July 21), participants engaged in community building activities and also got a quick refresher in English, Math and Nutritional Science. The fun interactive activities helped them become acclimated to Skyline High School before their four year journey begins.
Monday through Thursday included 45 minute check-ins and community building activities facilitated by the Youth Together Interns. Students were asked many questions that allowed them the opportunity to gain self-awareness, such as , “If you could have any superpower, what would it be?” and “What is one thing you’re afraid of entering high school?”. The community building activities allowed students to share and connect with their peers creating a safe space and sense of community.
Every Friday consisted of a Field Day where 9th graders participated in activities that included human knot, tug-a-war, three-legged race, capture the flag, and more. It was a day filled with fun. Students also had the opportunity to reflect on the week and share their overall high school goal.
The Summer Bridge program was a great opportunity for incoming 9th graders to get to know their fellow classmates, Skyline staff, and feeling apart of a bigger community!