The culminating event of our second annual Bridges program was held on Pagoda Fields this Tuesday, featuring team building and challenging problem-solving events all in the name of fun and cooperation.
Bridges joins leaders from the Senior class with groups of 7th graders for sustained peer mentorship discussions about all of the unique changes and challenges that students face during this important year.
Head of Middle School Renée Price noted, "The mood in the 7th grade class is different than it usually is at this time of year: there is more self-awareness, more kindness, and they are making better choices. I know that this is due in large part to the Bridges work."
Social and emotional skills that were integral to the curriculum were highlighted at the retreat, as students participated in games and exercises like kickball, "human knot," obstacle courses, water balloon tosses, egg drops, and more. The day's activities illustrated just how much closer together Bridges efforts have brought the class.
Director of Wellness Dr. Maritoni Shah said, "This retreat marks the end of a fabulous year for Bridges. We accomplished a great deal of social and emotional learning through lessons designed and taught by Senior leaders who are individually selected and trained by the PDS faculty."
As the retreat afternoon came to an end, the 7th graders and their leaders reflected on what their Bridges experience this year meant to them.
Ryan Sullivan '19 said, "I've learned that teaching is difficult but fulfilling. It's great when I'm walking down the hallway and one of the 7th Graders calls out a greeting to me—it always brings a smile to my face."
Kudos and thank you to all the faculty and senior mentors who made Bridges such a success this year!
Class of 2019 Bridges Senior Leaders:
Tonight, Senior leaders gather with faculty to conduct a group interview for all rising seniors who have applied for Bridges / Peer Mentors. Run by the seniors, this evening's program challenges the juniors to problem solve, work together, lean into discomfort and otherwise show leadership traits. It is just one part of the application process.