Everybody needs a buddy! Someone who will be there to help you to study, laugh, talk, listen, get organized and be your friend. This is all part of the Study Buddy Club at Stafford Middle School. Created in 1991 by Judy Clancy, the Study Buddy program is in its 15th year, and still going strong under the direction of Mrs. Michelle Walpole, a former Momot, Stafford and PHS student, and a Study Buddy mentor while completing her Education degree at Plattsburgh State! Mrs. Walpole is back at Stafford where she teaches 6th grade English Language Arts.
The program runs from October to May each year and offers friendship, organizational and study skills, help with students’ social interactions and tutoring in all academic areas: Mathematics, English Language Arts, Foreign Languages, Science, Social Studies, even Gym class! Yes, Gym class. Study Buddies have helped students who dislike Phys Ed classes to enjoy its various activities.
Stafford students typically enter the program in 6th grade, and some continue through 8th grade with the same Older Buddy. The Buddies meet once a week for 40 minutes. Middle school students are chosen for Study Buddies through teacher recommendation and by a parent’s request. However, for the program to work, the student must want to participate fully.
This program is rewarding for all participants, students and mentors alike, as friendships are formed, and confidence is gained. Responsibility, respect, self esteem, mature behaviors, fun and improved work habits have been the result of the club.
Younger Buddies truly appreciate the help provided by their Study Buddy mentors, and enjoy the time they spend together. The mentors are Plattsburgh State students, generally future teachers from the Education Department. For the third year, Older Buddies are also being supplied by Plattsburgh State’s Project Help, a student-run organization through which PSU students volunteer to perform community service.
These college students serve as positive role models who, in turn, learn about teaching as a profession. They also confer with their Stafford teacher mentor to determine where extra help may be needed.
At the end of the school year, the Club holds a Celebration of Friendship and Dedication pizza party for all participants, where both students and mentors are congratulated on a job well done!
If you feel your child would enjoy this “club” and would like further information concerning Study Buddies, please feel free to contact me. The Study Buddy Club at Stafford Middle School will continue teaming for success.
Study Buddies Club