As students transition to a new experience entering the high school, West Noble is now offering some upperclassmen mentors to help freshman make the shift.

It’s another new and interesting idea being rolled out at West Noble this year.

After writing last week about the smart move the district was making with its CHARGE Back to School services fair, West Noble started the school year with another innovative program that can only help its students.

Changing to a new school can be an adjustment for some students. There’s a new building to learn, new students and teachers to meet, new schedules to understand, new course loads to take on and new extracurriculars to consider.

The new Link Crew program divides up the freshman class and assigns about 20 students each to a pair of upperclassmen mentors, one boy and one girl. Those mentors will be available throughout the school year to offer help and advice in any way needed.

This program is reminiscent of many college freshman orientation programs, where student leaders will be paired with small groups of incoming freshman to introduce them to the school. For example, Purdue University has been offering its Boiler Gold Rush program to freshman since 1995, with more than 6,500 students and 500 student leaders taking part in recent years.

Whether freshmen take advantage of this new opportunity is up to them. Some students will transition just fine. Some may take a “too cool for school” attitude and not buy in. But there will also be some students who will probably get a great benefit out of having a mentor to chat with, get advice or even just wave to as they pass in the hallways.

Beyond the freshmen, it gives upperclassmen a new opportunity to get involved in a leadership role, improving their personal skills as well as upgrading their resumes for seeking future work, applying for scholarships or applying for college.

For a school system and population with a significant ethnic diversity, continuing efforts like these to break down walls and build a seamless community can only have a positive effect moving forward.

Link Crew is another hit for West Noble, which is on a roll this school year.

We look forward to seeing what other good ideas the district administrators, staff and students can deliver this year.

Our View is written by The Advance Leader staff. Steve Garbacz is editor, reporters are Sara Barker and Sheryl Prentice. Comments may be sent to sgarbacz@kpcmedia.com.

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