Yikes! The summer is nearly over and that means that students are getting ready to go back. They are filling the malls buying skinny jeans, fresh new Toms, loading up on Axe body spray and Hollister perfume.
For some students, there is the excitement and anticipation of seeing friends and being back at school. But for others, it might be a new school, or their first time in high school and that can be really scary. Students for the most part have a deep desire to be accepted and the first few weeks at a new school are pivotal as kids will often make friends with the first person who is willing to befriend them regardless of who they are. The role that friends play in the life of young person is huge, and falling into the wrong crowd early can have disastrous consequences, so that is where we come in.
Here is how it plays out at Journey: We have grades 6-12 meeting on the same night but somewhat separately, but the students do mingle and older students often know many of the younger ones. When the school year starts in a few weeks, we know that our students will likely know some people at their new school and that is where we get involved. During the first week of school we will be visiting every high school in the area at lunch time, visiting, encouraging and most importantly connecting our students. We can do so much to help make the transition into a new school, healthy, fun and life giving as we help to connect students in a new environment.
There is obvious value for us, to connect and shepherd our students, but this is one of the biggest reasons that the schools around us let us visit all the time. The administration at the schools see the value in us helping students make a smooth and healthy transition into their new school.