Middle school embraces mentoring program
With all the formality of a graduation ceremony, 100 uniformed students marched into the Deerfield Beach Middle School auditorium recently as Stevie Wonder’s “Overjoyed” blasted over the sound system.
Mentoring Tomorrow’s Leaders, as it is called, will have eighth-grade mentors serving as role models for sixth graders at risk of being left behind. The idea is to head off the experiences that lead kids to drop out before graduating high school.
To qualify, eighth-grade mentors must have at least a 3.0 grade point average. The mentors will assist six graders with a grade point average 2.0 or below.
In the program, the students will work together on homework, discuss social and personal issues, and how to study for a test — a life of discipline reflected in the uniforms and buttressed by a determination to graduate.
Judge Ilona Holmes, of the 17th Judicial Circuit of Broward County, also spoke at the mentoring workshop. The school also turned to Deerfield Beach’s JM Foundation for help, with supplied a more $50,000 grant.