PSHS High Schoolers get Many Opportunities to Mentor Elementary Students


Katie Justice and Francesca Rubesa

Every Tuesday, high school students assist teachers in K-3 classrooms at Poland McKinley. This is a volunteering program titled “Big Dog Little Dog” that recently made its return since last occurring during the 2018-2019 school year. 

During their study hall periods, high schoolers head down the road to spend their downtime with Poland’s youth. Whether they spend their Tuesday afternoon at recess, in the classroom, or at lunch, the volunteers contribute tons of extra assistance to the McKinley staff. 

One Big Dog, junior Sydney Henderson, shares her favorite part of working with the first grade class she was assigned.

Henderson said, “seeing them improve every week.”

Henderson also states that she participates in another weekly program with special education students where she teaches cheerleading to the students. 

Another high school student involved in the program, junior Natalee Patterson, tells us she looks forward to “listening to the stories [the kids] get so excited to tell” each Tuesday. 

Besides helping her Kindergarten students during “Big Dog Little Dog,: Patterson had the recent opportunity to spend the day with Poland’s Pre-K students, representing part of the PSHS Child Development class. 

Overall, “Big Dog Little Dog” and other opportunities presented excites both the elementary and high school students and gives all students involved an experience to look forward to each Tuesday.