(September 13th, Jersey City, NJ) — Explore Middle School kicked off their first days of school with team building activities and time spent welcoming the new 6th grade students.
Thursday, September 5th, marked the first day for all Explore students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. In an effort to welcome the new students and allow them to feel at home, 8th and 7th-grade advisory classes met with 6th graders to introduce themselves and give advice.
7th grader, Gio Fiore told a group of 6th graders, “If you are shy or don’t feel comfortable, if you talk to us we can do our best to make you feel more comfortable. We were just 6th graders last year, which is so weird, but we know what it’s like to be in your shoes.”
“Take advantage of the CTE classes! There are so many choices and it’s a great opportunity to get to know students outside of your friends’ group, “ 7th grader Kymani Febo shared with the 6th graders.
Friday was Fall Field Day where students were given the option to play a variety of team sports, sing karaoke, or read and socialize. The students were able to play basketball or volleyball in the gym or sing karaoke inside. In the backyard, students could use the playground, play soccer or football, or read and socialize with their peers.
The staff and faculty at Explore are looking to the 8th-grade students to be role models for the 6th and 7th graders and ensure everyone feels comfortable. Ms. Shannon Mattern, physical education teacher at Explore, was very happy with the 8th graders during the field day activities as they already started to embrace their role as leaders.
Ms. Mattern explained, “During our basketball and volleyball games, most of the 8th graders were making sure all of the 6th and 7th graders were participating. They made sure to pass them the ball, encourage them to shoot, and generally get involved. This made me so happy.”
The decision to spend one of the first days of school as a Field Day was important to the Explore administration and staff. Ms. Mattern explains, “Field days are crucial for students at any point during the school year and even more so at the beginning. Playing sports and even signing together allows kids to work on skills like communication and cooperation which is important as they just start to get to know each other.”
“The first week of school afforded us the opportunity to develop relationships with new students and continue to strengthen bonds with returning students. The 7th and 8th graders demonstrated their growth and maturity by mentoring and welcoming the 6th graders. Watching them collaborate and interact made me incredibly happy and proud,” Principal Allyson Krone shared.
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