Pioneer Partners Provides Interactive Education

Pioneer partners has been a memorable tradition, where our students become a familiar face and hopefully an idol to younger students in elementary school. 

Becoming a pioneer  partner means that you get to go to one of the three elementary schools, Breton Downs, Lakeside, and Wealthy, and interact with the younger kids. 

“We go into classrooms and read a book about friendship. Halfway through the book we split off into small groups to talk about it and predict what’s going to happen [next],” Sophie Williams ‘22 said. 

When you are joining the Pioneer Partners program, leaders of the club seem to give an opportunity to anyone for joining and helping out, “Lucy Cavanaugh, Jack Lado and I lead the Pioneer Partners program because as LYD board members for the past years, we felt we had the experience and enthusiasm to organize the program, “ Annie Doublestein ‘22 said. 

“With such a big group of leaders from the highschool [they] work with our staff and teachers to figure out the plans, we as leaders worked with Mr. Weigel and a few of the elementary staff to identify small groups leaders. Mostly upperclassmen,” Doublestein said. “As for the groups of the student readers, the opportunity to get involved in the elementary classrooms was open to any individual who was interested, not just members of the LYD.”  When joining the club you get to see the little kids become excited to meet the highschoolers and the highschoolers get excited to appear as an idol to the kids, “I joined pioneer partners for the chance to be the person I looked up to as a kid. Whenever somebody came into my classroom in elementary school, I always thought they were the coolest, “ Robbie Dwortz ‘23 said. “It’s crazy to think I get to be that person for these classrooms; I like the thought of it.” 

The highschoolers that are participating in pioneer partners remember when they had highschoolers come into their classroom and how they loved it, “I joined Pioneer Partners because I thought it would be fun to go be with the elementary students at my old school, “ Kate Simon ‘25 said. 

“I always thought it was so cool when the high schoolers came to read when I was in elementary school.”

Anyone who joined this opportunity had the similar thoughts of going back, to not only see their past, but to be seen as a mentor to the little elementary kids, “Pioneer Partners is an amazing leadership opportunity. I love being able to be someone that the students look up to,” Lillian Koster ‘23 said. 

“It means a lot to leave such an impact on where we started off.” 

This program this year is not only for the tradition, but also to get back to our normal, “COVID-19 and the loss of social connectedness was tough on everyone, but I think it was especially difficult for elementary age kids,” Doublestein explained.

 “Pioneer Partners is important to me because it’s an opportunity for these students to have in-person interactions with high schoolers who are sharing a love of reading. I personally remember being in elementary school and being excited when the cool high schoolers would come to do an activity with us, so it’s super rewarding to feel like I’m contributing to make these kids’ days a little more exciting.” 

No matter your reasoning for joining the program, it’s important and means a lot for both the high schoolers and the elementary students that are involved.

 “I think it’s important because it’s a great way for kids to connect with older students in their community. It’s nice for them to see a high schooler and have them interact with them. The book brings up valuable life lessons that high schoolers and elementary schoolers can relate to and learn from,” Williams said.