Peer Facilitator Project
A Leadership Program for Middle School and Older Elementary Students
A letter from Michele Hill & Jen Cohen, Peer Facilitator Project Coordinators
For over two decades, Media Providence Friends School has been at the forefront of teaching young students that they can be leaders and friendly helpers to others. What makes the Peer Facilitator Project (for any student in Grades 4-8) a unique offering at our school is the voluntary nature of this Social Emotional Learning work.
Students choose to advance their skills in caring, understanding, accepting and trustworthiness so that they may be of service to others in our community. They take a training course after school to learn and practice these skills and then make themselves available to anyone in need. Each year they have the opportunity to renew their commitment to this service they provide to our school community.
Imagine that you are a young student at MPFS struggling with a friendship, or frustrated in a subject in school, and there is a student who is eager to help talk through this issue with you. The Peer Facilitator meets with you privately to listen, care, ask relevant questions, and help you to try out ideas that may resolve this issue. Later, the person checks in with you to see if your new strategies have improved your situation. If not, the Peer Facilitator is willing to work with you again to come up with different choices for resolution. You feel the safety and care of the community.
Or think of yourself as the kind, generous student who is helping. You gain such confidence when another student is asking for your listening and caring skills. You see yourself as a problem solver. You gain patience and perseverance in this work to help others, as well as the incredibly satisfying feeling of being of service to another person.
Imagine that our school has so many helpers that these Peer Facilitators now add up to more than a third of our student population. And this changes the school climate in a positive way making younger children want to perform these skills, and want to grow up to do this work. That is Social Justice in the making!
For questions about this or any of our programming, please contact Director of Admissions & Programming Angela DiMaria.
Peer Facilitation has taught me very important life skills like good listening and problem solving. Those skills will help me later in life.
I have a special bond with all the other Peer Facilitators that helps me be more connected to the school community.