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- Curry College Students See “Eye to Eye” With Pierce Middle School Students
Curry College Students See “Eye to Eye” With Pierce Middle School Students
May 2, 2014
(Pictured Above: Curry College students Michaella Nisbet, Maya Rovner and Michelle Currier volunteer their time with Abby Fay as part of the Eye to Eye program at Pierce Middle School in Milton. The program matches college-age students with younger students with LD/ADHD, acting as tutors, role models, and mentors.)
Each Wednesday throughout the academic year, students from Curry College visit Pierce Middle School in Milton, mentoring younger students through art as part of the Eye to Eye project. Eye to Eye is a national program that matches college-age students with younger students with learning disabilities and ADHD, with the older students acting as tutors, role models, and mentors. All of the Curry College mentors have learning disabilities and/or ADHD themselves, and are registered with the Program for Advancement of Learning (PAL) or the College's Office of Disability Services.
The Curry mentors and Pierce students have worked together on decorating plaster handprints, and drawing pictures. The art room is designed to be a welcoming space, allowing the younger students to discuss their abilities and build their self-esteem. The experience empowers young leaders and learners to become advocates for their needs.
To prepare for their roles, the College mentors go through a special training at the beginning of the academic year. This year, two students, junior community health and wellness major Michelle Currier and senior psychology major Annie Rutter, attended a week-long training session at Brown University.
Currier says she enjoys being able to give back to students in the Milton community.
"Growing up, I didn't have a mentor," recalls Currier. "To know that you have support from someone who has the same thing that you have, struggled with the same thing that you have struggled with, and who has succeeded, it kind of gives you hope, like a light at the end of the tunnel. You see that you can do something great, you just do it at a different level, different speed-but everyone can accomplish anything that they want."
Senior psychology major Annie Rutter believes the Curry students are having an effect on the Pierce Middle School students.
"I think that it's really empowering for them to be able to see a college student who has similar differences," Rutter says. "I hope they're thinking, 'I can be in their shoes too.'"
Dr. Karen Spaulding, Principal of Pierce Middle School, agrees that her students are benefiting from the partnership with Curry College.
"Our students have learned about themselves and developed important self-advocacy skills that they will carry with them through life," says Dr. Spaulding "The partnership that Curry forged with us is built on respect for the work we do and rooted in compassion and care for the community in which they are situated. We are grateful to them for this opportunity and for the lessons they have taught us about embracing who we are and seeing those unique characteristics as strengths."
Seventh-grader Abby Fay is among those enjoying the interaction with her Curry mentors.
"I like to talk to the other people about life and school. It makes me feel pretty good, and I have something fun to do after school."