Ninth-grader Bethany Young said being on the Peer Guidance Committee carries a lot of weight at Sumner Hill Junior High.
“It helps us understand that the way we act can impact everyone around us,” said her classmate, 14-year-old Cailyn Donaldson.
School counselor Heather Norton said the Peer Guidance Committee is a way to teach students how to be leaders and that good leadership is important.
“It helps the environment at our school,” she said.
Among the Peer Guidance Committee activities are hosting a breakfast for new students, activities during Teacher Appreciation Week, and the upcoming leadership course at Camp Down Range. The most popular project is adopting a class of first-grade students at Clinton Park Elementary School, communicating monthly together with them, and visiting Clinton Park during Read Across America Week to read to the younger students.
“It’s a lot of fun, and they look up to us too,” Cailyn said. “They look at us as the bigger kids who are role models. They’re very impressionable.”
Committee member Carsson DeYoung agreed.
“It’s very satisfying to be able to impact others’ lives and help them, like when we read to the younger group at Clinton Park,” he said.
Grant Dean, 14, said students applied to be on the Peer Guidance Committee.
“We wrote essays and answered questions,” he said.
Devin Bass, 14, said that in addition to committee activities, they take on leadership roles in other ways, even in the classroom.
“We had a class project where we were making houses with popsicle sticks,” he said. “We were in groups and we led the group, motivating people and coordinating the project.”
Sumner Hill Principal Christie Claxton said the Peer Guidance Committee is an important student group.
“Students in this group are learning how to be leaders among their peers,” she said. “This is a life lesson and will help them as they move to high school, college and into the workforce.”
Photo: Members of the Sumner Hill Peer Guidance Committee visited Gentry Booth’s first-grade class at Clinton Park Elementary School during Red Ribbon Week.