With schools around Ahwatukee entering their second month of the fall term, Kyrene de los Lagos Elementary has devised a program to make sure its students are feeling at ease with one another and getting along throughout the semester.
The program is called Peace Ambassadors, and allows fifth-graders to make sure kindergartners are feeling comfortable with their new school setting.
This is the first year Lagos has introduced the Peace Ambassadors program, and they have 14 fifth-graders enrolled as Peace Ambassadors.
Assistant Principal Jo Hanken plans to add six more Peace Ambassadors to the program, and said they will be on site during recess time.
Fifth-grader Salater Hall-Spinelli was enrolled in the Peace Ambassadors program at the end of his fourth-grade year, saying he had to undergo an application process to be accepted.
The application process mainly consisted of multiple-choice questions where each applicant had to answer how they would handle scenarios consisting of problem solving.
They also were asked to right a paper on how they would go about solving problems, Hall-Spinelli said.
The applications were then sent to the administrators of Lagos to be reviewed, where they selected each student who fit the Peace Ambassador creed.
When each applicant was accepted to be a Peace Ambassador they met over the summer break to learn what their duties are when trying to keep incoming kindergartners at ease for the first month of school.
Their biggest challenge came during the first day of school, where each Peace Ambassador was trying to explain to kindergartners that the school is a fun place, and that they will enjoy their time at Lagos.
Peace Ambassador Hailey Dawson, who spoke during the first few weeks of school, said they were in charge of getting the kindergartners in the right line so they can be on time and ready for the start of the day.
Dawson’s Peace Ambassador colleague, Olivia Thorpe, said she has enjoyed her experience being part of the program and has fun guiding the kindergartners to where they need to go.
Thorpe added if ever there’s a situation, instead of blaming one person they’re taught to listen to both parties to figure out what exactly happened.
That way they can hear from both perspectives and figure out a fair way to resolve the situation.
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