Starting in early August, many eleventh and twelfth graders met with teachers, Anastasia Mortimore and Kelli Tyranski, to start training for freshmen orientation which took place on August 27, 2013. Each mentor was assigned six to eight freshmen with whom they have kept in contact since the end of the last school year. Mentors are there to help freshmen with anything throughout the school year. “I chose to be a mentor because I wanted to help out the freshmen because I was helped out as a freshman and it really helped,” said eleventh grade mentor Dazia Dinkins.
At one o’clock on August 27th, all the incoming freshmen gathered in the gym to start freshmen orientation. They first sat in the bleachers while teachers and a few mentors talked about what to expect, not only of the day but also of their freshman year. Then, they were asked to get up and spread out in the gym where they did a few teambuilding activities as a whole grade. One of the activities they played was called “zip up the line” where there were two rows facing each other and they would take one step to the left or the right and talk about a certain topic to the person in front of them. It was a way for them to meet new people in their grade.
After playing a few more games as a whole class, the students then met with their assigned mentors and the groups of ten to fifteen freshmen spread out to different parts of the school to continue with more personal team bonding. They started off with introducing themselves and then played a number of games that helped them learn more about each other. “I like the part where we were playing games, it was very hand-on,” said incoming freshman Angelo Myers. After the groups finished up with their games, the mentors gave them their own advice on what to do in high school and took them on a tour around the school. Freshman, Jarred Height-Kaplan said, “[My mentors] helped me with just being organized and what to expect.”
While the students were off with their freshmen, parents were asked to go to the auditorium at three o’clock for an hour long parent meeting. After the meeting and group activities, both parents and students were invited to the cafeteria for cookies and drinks.
All in all, the day was filled with meeting new people and creating new friendships as well as getting accustomed to the high school setting. Mentors still keep in touch with their mentees to make sure they start off their freshman year smoothly.