TLT Student Council Launches Senior Buddy Program
After two weeks of intensive planning and deliberation, this year’s student council has successfully launched the Senior Buddy program that delivered on a promise that our seventh graders would “not be alone … and our senior buddies “would be there for them.”
“It was a remarkable event watching our senior students take responsibility for the social and emotional welfare of a younger student,” stated school counsellor, Sana Akbar.
“I am really excited to have a Senior Buddy this year. I feel safe and know I have someone to talk to when adults are not the best possible choice,” said a very enthusiastic Fatima Salman.
The Senior Buddy program came about after Student Council made a conscious effort to ensure that incoming grade seven students should always have a “go to person” in the form of a fellow student. The peer mentoring program allows senior students to serve as mentors, guides, advisors and friends for their “little buddies.”
For now, senior buddies are asked to touch base with their little buddy twice a day; at break and then at home time. Seniors were given a workshop on how to approach, address and interact with their seventh graders. “We asked the seventh graders what role they wanted their senior buddies to take on and with that we trained our upperclassmen to make use of a series of questions and prompts that would elicit meaningful conversations that would be based on mutual trust, honesty and understanding,” cited a happy Jamshid Minwalla, Head of Sr. School. “Our Senior School kids have a lot to offer and they can recall what it was like for them four years ago when they were seventh graders. They were at times lost, often alone and had no immediate point of contact within their peer group. This initiative is a chance for them to showcase their social, communication, thinking, problem solving and creative skills.”
“We really applaud the Student Council for taking time out of their hectic day to find the time to connect with our child,” stated a very happy grade seven parent. “Only at TLT, would an idea come to fruition after being conceived by a student. That’s student ownership. That’s student autonomy,” explained veteran teacher, Batool Ali.
The hope is for the Senior Buddy program to be the cornerstone of effective dialogue between students, sharing ideas, concerns, issues and solutions that will create a culture where cooperation, compassion and caring are always at the forefront.