PALs visit West Bainbridge Elementary

Published 2:57 pm Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The students at West Bainbridge Elementary ended Read Across America week with a visit from Bainbridge High School’s PAL program.

Megan Palmer, a BHS teacher, and Nikki Martin, a WBE media specialist, worked together to coordinate this event.

The BHS students came to WBE on Thursday and Friday of that week in order to show the elementary students that reading is important, even to high school students. The PAL students read and helped individuals and groups during their visit.

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The PAL peer helping program functions as a class to train students in the skills of helping their fellow students have a more positive and productive school experience. It is formed of student representatives of various groups within the student body, who have been nominated, completed an application and been interviewed.

PAL, which is short for peer assistance and leadership, is an award-winning peer helping program providing effective training in helping skills.

PAL combats problems such as violence in schools, drug abuse, teen pregnancy, gang participation and school dropouts by providing a critical line of defense both at school and in the home. The goal of the program is to tap into the potential of young people to make a difference in their schools and communities.

The PALs are placed in peer-to-peer situations with other students (known as “Palees”) in which they employ the training components in order to develop positive, supportive and helpful relationships.

PAL empowers students to serve effectively in specific peer-to-peer or general leadership roles.