Starting Lower School is like entering a whole new world buzzing with academic and social transformation. Yes, there’s the excitement and wonder of learning new things and making new friends. But some children can feel hesitant or shy when so much is unfamiliar. In those moments, it helps kids to have an older friend who knows from experience how they are feeling and keeps an eye out for them. That’s the ROBS Buddy Program.
Younger students are paired for a memorable year with an older buddy. The two spend time sharing interests, partnering on projects and activities, worshipping together, and just hanging out, having fun. Special bonds form, and younger buddies become more open and confident.
Older buddies benefit too. Middle schoolers suddenly realize they have transitioned from being mentored to being role models. They see there is great responsibility in having someone look up to them. And at an age typified by self-focus, they become profoundly motivated to be the example, recognizing the positive influence they can have on a young person’s life.
We have noticed a difference in the way our oldest son interacts with his younger siblings—exhibiting deep care, leadership, strong character, and responsibility. We believe this is attributable to the way older students impact and mentor younger ones at school.