Leadership program benefits elementary students

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Boardman High School students came to Market Street Elementary for the Big Spartans, Little Spartans program on Jan. 19. Pictured is Big Spartan Erin Higgins and Little Spartan Harper Liller.


Neighbors | Zack Shively.Michael Melewski, a Big Spartan, said he wants to help his Little Spartan get his mind off class and have fun. Pictured, he and his Little Spartan, Shane Plourde, play Connect Four.


Neighbors | Zack Shively.The high school students meet with the elementary school students once a month. The high school students go through an application process before becoming Big Spartans.


Neighbors | Zack Shively.The Big Spartans entertain the Little Spartans for an hour during school. Pictured is elementary student Alice Whitaker and Madie Murray with her dog Milo that she brought to the school for the program.


Neighbors | Zack Shively.The Big Spartans played games and did activities with the Little Spartans at Market Street Elementary. The program is designed to put high school students in leadership roles and give support to the younger studnets in the elementary schools.



Students of Boardman High School visited Market Street Elementary School on Jan. 19 as a part of a leadership program.

The Big Spartans, Little Spartans program gives the high school students a chance to help and have fun with the younger children in the four elementary schools.

School counselor Jennifer Carey runs the program at Market Street and Stadium Drive elementary schools. She said the program gives the older students an opportunity to make connections with the younger students and it gives younger children some support.

Erin Higgins, a high school student, said that she joined the program because she thought it was a great idea and she wanted to help a younger student. She mostly does arts and crafts with her student, Harper Liller. For example, the two decorated cookies in December.

The high school students filled out an application to become a Big Spartan. The guidance offices looked at the students’ attendance and grades before allowing them to join the program. Students also needed a recommendation from a teacher.

Michael Melewski, another Big Spartan, saw the program as a way to help relieve stress from the students and take their mind off class for a bit. He said that the program gives him a leadership role and his Little Spartan looks up to him, so he wants to be able to help them and set a good example.

The program is in its fifth year. Each elementary school has 25 students in the program and the high school provides 25 students to each school to match. The high school students will meet monthly with the same students throughout the year.

During the program at Market Street Elementary, the students played with things like Play-Doh and Legos. Some students played catch with footballs and others set up bowling pins by a wall and bowled. One Big Spartan brought her dog for the children to walk with and pet. Some pairs of students played board games. The program runs for about an hour at the end of the school day once a month.

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