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Croton Elementary School's Buddy Program Benefits Younger Students

Students from Ruth Sullivan’s third-grade class work alongside Patricia Zamperlin’s kindergartners on a science activity involving fall leaves.
Students from Ruth Sullivan’s third-grade class work alongside Patricia Zamperlin’s kindergartners on a science activity involving fall leaves. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Croton-Harmon Schools
Students from Ruth Sullivan’s third-grade class work alongside Patricia Zamperlin’s kindergartners on a science activity involving fall leaves.
Students from Ruth Sullivan’s third-grade class work alongside Patricia Zamperlin’s kindergartners on a science activity involving fall leaves. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Croton-Harmon Schools
Students from Ruth Sullivan’s third-grade class work alongside Patricia Zamperlin’s kindergartners on a science activity involving fall leaves.
Students from Ruth Sullivan’s third-grade class work alongside Patricia Zamperlin’s kindergartners on a science activity involving fall leaves. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Croton-Harmon Schools

CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – Enhanced communication, social skills and feeling more “at home” are just a few of the benefits Carrie E. Tompkins Elementary School’s Buddy Program offers to its youngest students.

“For over 20 years, CET has been developing relationships through the Buddy Program,” said Principal Kelly Maloney. “Classrooms that participate in the Buddy Program pair intermediate classes, third and fourth grade, with primary grades, kindergarten and first grade.”

Pierre Van Cortlandt Middle School fifth-graders have also buddied up with second-graders at PVC. During these special pairings, students work collaboratively with their peers on projects and activities, with the older students providing guidance. Recently, Croton-Harmon third-graders from Ruth Sullivan’s class visited Patricia Zamperlin’s kindergarten class for a science activity involving fall foliage. The activity encouraged students to closely observe a leaf of their choice and make observations about its characteristics.

By working with students who have already experienced kindergarten and first grade, younger students experience a confidence boost and embrace the chance to develop socially. These older role models are encouraged to share their knowledge of reading, mathematics, science and more – even serving as mini teachers.

The Buddy collaborations are equally beneficial to older students, who take the responsibility of aiding their younger peers seriously. Three third-graders in Craig Campanaro’s class, Ana, Isabel and Abigail, recently took time out of their recess to type letters to kindergarten and first-grade teachers, offering to tutor their students.

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