3rd grade are reading buddies with our youngest preschoolers (typically 3 years old). The 3rd graders choose and read a book to their preschool buddy every other week. On the week that falls closest to a holiday or special day, we do a special project together. For Christmas, the 3rd grade students traced their hand and the preschooler's hand and turned them upside-down to make a tree, and then they decorated them. Lots of fun projects and memories are created.
One of our other preschool classes (typically 4 years old) are Reading Buddies with 2nd grade. They meet once a month, on the first Wednesday of the month. We read and do crafts together. The 2nd graders love being the “Big Kids” and the Preschoolers really look up to them. Their relationships are growing more and more each month.
The last preschool class (typically 4 years old) and fourth grade get together once a week to do various activities throughout the year. Each fourth grader is paired with a preschool student as a new friend to read with. In addition, other activities, especially around holidays, are worked on together. At Advent time, the students get together to make a red and green chain. At Easter time, the fourth graders plan an outdoor egg hunt for their buddies. Full day preschoolers and fourth graders attend the school pep assemblies together during the year. Near the end of the year, the two classes have a recess together and make each other thank you cards as a special way to close the school year. These special bonds continue throughout the time spent at Trinity Lutheran School. The smiling faces of the younger students as they recognize their buddies in the hallway is priceless.
Religion buddies are comprised of Trinity 8th graders and Kindergartners. They are "buddied" up at the beginning of the school year and meet at least once a month. Religion Buddies make a craft centered on a Bible verse or theme, and also have valuable time for building a relationship. The younger students truly look up to, and are excited to be with their buddy, and the older student takes on a leadership role working with some of the youngest in our school. Their friendships are immediate and they grow in faith alongside one another.
Weekly, the students in grades first and sixth get together to do various activities throughout the year. Each sixth grader is paired with a first grader to read to or listen to their “buddy” read. In addition, other activities, especially around holidays, or craft projects are worked on together. At the end of the year, the two classes eat lunch, play board games and have recess together. The relationships that are built this year are nurtured throughout the rest of their school lives at Trinity.