Pine-Richland Peer-to-Peer takes outreach projects to heart
Thursday, November 21, 2019 | 10:41 AM
Dozens of students participated in a special Peer-to-Peer session on Nov. 12, in advance of World Kindness Day on Nov. 13. For the 2019-20 school year, Peer-to-Peer is launching a few initiatives which include making kits and crocheted hearts for the homeless in downtown Pittsburgh and mentoring middle school students.
On Nov. 12, the students assembled the kits for the homeless which included soap, a Mylar blanket, a card and a hand-crocheted heart. For the mentoring project, students created posters. Students earned a $500 World Kindness Grant from Airie for their projects.
The purpose of the mentoring program entitled Big to Mid is to connect high schoolers with the younger middle school students. By serving as role models, the high school students aim to help the middle school students focus on the positive, create learning moments, and to encourage and help build self-esteem and self-confidence within the mentee. A positive peer mentoring relationship can have a profound effect on a mentee’s sense of self-respect. Mentees might feel more comfortable sharing concerns or problems.
Mentors must attend training sessions and plan on meeting with their mentees once a month.
Executive Director of Multiplying Good Jodi Klebeck was on hand at the Peer 2 Peer session on Nov. 12. She oversees “Multiplying Good,” which aims to unleash the potential in youth through service, and partners with organizations and corporations to recognize excellence in service. Multiplying Good was formerly known as the Jefferson Awards.
The Pine-Richland High School Peer-to-Peer student group earned first place at the Jefferson Awards Program on April 4, 2019. The group is being named the 2019 Top Pittsburgh Regional Students in Action Team and represented PR at the national program. Students, who presented at the awards program, included sophomore Saige Schlutz; juniors Charlotte Menke, Mikayla Schiffer, and Kareem Zein; and seniors Enyo Akwayena, Julia Simendinger, Anna Wagner, and Levi Wentz. In all, more than 190 students are signed up to participate in Peer-to-Peer programs under the direction of Counselor Leslie Straub.
Peer-to-Peer is a student-led group that strives to break down social barriers by promoting respect for all in both our school and community. In 2017, the group also earned first-place in the state for their service work. The club works on many service projects such as the color run and many initiatives aimed at inclusion. Most recently, they visited Eden Hall to talk with students at lunchtime about inclusion, friendship and other topics.