School is all about learning and for some local students it includes more than reading, writing and arithmetic.
Through a new partnership, nine Boulder City High School students are able to help in classrooms and tutor students at Mitchell Elementary School.
Mitchell’s counselor Kimberly Cox and BCHS counselor Rebecca Balistere came up with the idea for the partnership after Cox asked Balistere if she could send more students to Mitchell to help with the Boulder Dam Credit Union savings program and other areas in the school on a regular basis.
“I thought what if we had some teenagers and we have this like a class,” Cox said.
Balistere took it a little farther and said why don’t we have them there to tutor students and help in the classroom. From there the schools’ partnership and the student tutoring class was born.
“I hope that the elementary students will look up to our BCHS students and realize that one day they can give back by tutoring, as well,” said Principal Amy Wagner. “It is my hope that the Mitchell students will look up to the BCHS students and want to stay in school. Additionally, I am sure that our high school kids are learning things from the elementary kids, as well. We all learn in these types of relationships.”
And learning they are as the high school students say they are gaining patience as well as other things by working with elementary school students. Some are even getting experience for possible future careers in education.
“I did it to learn how to work with kids … . When you teach a kid how to write their ABCs, it’s a good thing,” said Reggi Gibbs, a sophomore.
Gibbs said she wants to be a speech pathologist and is hoping to take what she learns at Mitchell with her to that career.
Senior Adrianna “Age” Lemasters said she shadowed Safekey employees during the summer and learned she enjoyed teaching and working with children. She started helping at Mitchell to do more of it and said favorite part is helping the students learn things.
“I just like to guide them in the right direction,” she said.
Safekey is a program in Clark County that offers programs for kindergartens through fifth-graders before and after school.
“Doing this tutoring is the favorite part of my day … . I enjoy seeing the kids learn and (seeing) how smart they are,” said senior Clarissa Sitko.
New BCHS student Emma Rosenstein, a junior, said she took an early childhood education class at her old school.
“This was the next best thing and I like working with kids,” she said.
For those who are interested in teaching, it’s allowed them to test the waters of that career.
“I want to go into elementary education,” said junior Calli Williams. “I enjoy seeing how a classroom works and being with the kids.”
Williams said she is also learning how to run a classroom.
Fellow junior Grace Lamoreaux said she is thinking about a teaching career because of this experience at Mitchell.
“I like working with the kids because they’re cute and they’re sweet,” she said.
“It’s just fun to go down there,” said junior Kyle Sylvani, who took the opportunity after completing another course and needing to fill a class period.
Several other students use it as a way to spend more time with family and friends.
Junior Thaine Stills said he started the class because he needed another elective, but it also allows him to spend time with his younger brother.
“My brother is a kindergartner so I thought it would be cool to see him every day,” he said.
“All my kids are my friends … . I like helping the kids,” said Zac Jimenez, a senior. “It’s really fun.”
Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at email@example.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.