Lower/Middle School Peer Mentoring Program

Jay Parker
The 2018-2019 school year marked the beginning of our Middle-Lower School Peer Mentoring Program. Based in our Sixth Grade leadership class taught by Mr. Parker, Mr. Ali, and Mrs. Daly, teams of Sixth Grade peer educators have established partnerships with both the Sixth Age and Ninth Age students this year. Beginning last November, the Sixth Grade students visited their Lower School buddies on multiple occasions to bridge the gap between our divisions, and to inspire younger students to uphold the Calvert Pillars.
“I really enjoyed working with younger students throughout the year and growing as a mentor. I’ll never forget all the fun conversations I had, and it reminded me how far I have come since I was in Lower School. I can’t wait for opportunities next year!” - Morgan B., Sixth Grader

On May 15th, the entire Ninth Age and Sixth Grade had their culminating peer mentoring event where they spent a full day at Terrapin Adventures for collaborative group games and challenge activities to build confidence and community. Throughout this school year, these two grades have collaborated on sustainability, service, and team-building activities. In each instance, this has benefited our school culture by promoting community engagement, as well as the concepts of responsibility, respect, courage, and honesty identified by our Pillars. Thank you to Ninth Age Team Leader Mr. Jason Till, Sixth Grade Dean Ms. Angel Menefee, and their wonderful teams for supporting these efforts.

“The Ninth Age’s budding relationship with the Sixth Grade has been incredibly valuable for our students this year. Having the opportunity to spend a day continuing to build that rapport will benefit all the students as they continue to work together throughout their future at Calvert.” - Mr. Jason Till

In addition, Sixth Grade peer educators visited Sixth Agers to read books and lead discussions on the ideas of family, empathy, and risk taking throughout the year. Special thanks to Kim Miles and her Sixth Age team for welcoming us into their classrooms. Next year we will expand this program with a specific focus on Identities in Sixth Age and Empathy in Ninth Age.

This Peer Mentoring Program is supported by the Christopher O’Neil Peer Health Fund who generously funds social emotional programming across Baltimore independent schools. Over the past twenty-four years, the O’Neil family has sponsored mentoring programs between high schools and middle schools, and Calvert is proud to be the first Middle-Lower School partnership to be supported. It is a testament to our good work here - and it is with great gratitude that we develop this program here at Calvert in memory of Christopher O’Neil.

The Calvert partnership with the O’Neil Family was initiated by Isabelle Alfriend ’14, who served as President of the Peer Health Program while at Roland Park Country School before graduating in 2018. Isabelle spent her Senior Encounter at Calvert last year, and co-wrote the grant to the O’Neil Family. Thank you Isabelle!
Calvert School is a coed independent lower and middle school.