El Sierra launches two programs to build community pride

El Sierra started two new programs this year that have enhanced the school’s community and forged friendships across grade levels.

recess buddiesThe Recess Leaders program invited sixth grade role models to lead games and play with kindergarteners during their lunch recess. Fifth graders did the same with first and second graders.

“The older students volunteer to give up their recess to play with the younger students once or twice per week,” said El Sierra Principal Jason Lynde. “It has been great for everyone involved! The younger students like having role models to help them find games to play that are fair and fun. The older students enjoy making a difference at our school.”

El Sierra sixth grader Kellar agreed.

“It’s really fun to spend time getting to know and play with the younger kids,” she said.

watchdogWith the help of an Education Foundation grant, El Sierra School also launched the Watch DOGS program. Each week, this program invited positive male role models (mostly dads) to help out with different classroom activities. (View more Watch DOGS photos in the slideshow above!)

“We set it up so that the dad greets the students as they get off the bus, and then leads our schools in the Pledge of Allegiance from their child’s classroom,” Mr. Lynde said. “From there, the Watch DOGS dad visits different classrooms to lead reading and math activities. He also gets to participate in PE and recess and eat lunch with his child in the cafeteria.”

Mr. Lynde shared that the Watch DOGS program has seen great success among dads, students and staff alike.

“Above all, the dads feel like they have made a difference,” he said.

Photos courtesy of Jason Lynde.