“Two are better than one,” is an ancient verse that rings true at Elmcrest. The “little” boys and girls are linked with “older” boys and girls in a Peer Mentoring Program. Similar to the “Big Brother, Big Sister” model, two residents are paired to foster relationship building and teamwork.
Regina Deckman, Director of Elmcrest’s Model Fidelity Program, notes that this peer mentoring has helped the older children develop a sense of pride while practicing leadership skills. The younger children respond to the attention and comradery with their role model.
“The older children find that having someone look up to them has helped them with responsibility,” Regina added. “One young lady has indicated that her experience has led her to think about a future in childcare or teaching children.”
The pairs meet weekly for one hour and engage in activities that promote empathy and the values mentioned. Recently a few went to the pond to catch frogs, butterflies, and snails, and had lunch together afterward. (Not from their catch!)