Ninth graders welcome new Davis students into their WEB
Ninth graders welcome new Davis students into their WEB
Posted on 12/19/2017
Students sitting in a circle

Davis Junior High School students want all of the new seventh graders to know right away they are part of something special.

For the second straight year, Davis is offering a WEB (Where Everyone Belongs) program that creates ninth grade mentors to help new seventh graders feel welcome in their junior high.

“It keeps a positive, community feel at Davis,” said teacher Kelly Dopkowski, who coordinates the club with teacher Renee Pietraskiewicz.

This year, nearly 50 ninth-grade students underwent three days of training to become “WEB Leaders."  

The WEB Leaders are there to help welcome the seventh graders with sponsored activities as well as helping day-day-day activities, such as learning how to open the lockers.

“We want them to to see how cool this school can be,” said ninth grader Grace Petras.

One of the first activities WEB Leaders offered new seventh graders was an orientation afternoon during August registration.

The leaders created a series of activities designed to get the new class of Davis Raiders working together and become familiar with their new school.

“It helps them get more comfortable,” said ninth-grader Jadyn Crawford-Ward.  “If you feel comfortable you are going to let your personality show and you will be more friendly and active.”

Pietraskiewicz said that the orientation was appreciated by both the students and their parents.

“It is such a major transition time for them coming from an elementary school into the junior high,” she said. “We had parents who said their student came home from orientation knowing that they belong. It gives parents a sense of peace.”

Teachers said being a web mentor is a major time commitment, including the training, preparing for the orientation program, creating new activities and being there for the seventh graders every day.

“I like to help people,” said WEB Leader Nikolas Benka. “I know I would want to have the help if I was in seventh grade.”

The next major activity for the WEB program will be “Cocoa and Craming” – where they will meet in the media center to help students prepare for their semester exams.

WEB leaders said they knew their program was making a difference when they saw immediate changes during the first few hours of the summer orientation.

“I was terrified when I started junior high,” said Emina Causevic. “It is just nice for the seventh graders to know they have someone here to help them.”