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Madison secondary students train for Student 2 Student work

Students in Madison's secondary schools completed Student 2 Student (S2S) training, which "raised awareness of needs of all transitioning students. Military-connected and civilian students establish and sustain the school-sponsored program," at-risk counselor Cindy V. Davis said. (RECORD PHOTO/GREGG PARKER)
Students in Madison’s secondary schools completed Student 2 Student (S2S) training, which “raised awareness of needs of all transitioning students. Military-connected and civilian students establish and sustain the school-sponsored program,” at-risk counselor Cindy V. Davis said. (RECORD PHOTO/GREGG PARKER)

Teenagers from Bob Jones, Columbia and James Clemens high schools completed training for Student 2 Student peer mentoring, led by the Military Child Education Coalition. (CONTRIBUTED)
Teenagers from Bob Jones, Columbia and James Clemens high schools completed training for Student 2 Student peer mentoring, led by the Military Child Education Coalition. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – About 40 Madison and Huntsville secondary students recently trained for Student 2 Student (S2S) peer mentoring.

With the Military Child Education Coalition leading the training, the collaboration included Madison City Schools, Camber Corporation and Redstone Arsenal.

In two-day sessions at the Best Western-Plus, eight students from Discovery and Liberty middle schools trained for Junior Student 2 Student (JS2S) work. Bob Jones, James Clemens and Huntsville’s Columbia high schools trained for S2S skills.

S2S and JS2S “raise awareness of needs of all transitioning students. Military-connected and civilian students establish and sustain the school-sponsored program to welcome new students and support students relocating to and from their school,” Cindy V. Davis said. Last October, Davis was hired as Madison City Schools’ first District At-Risk Counselor.

“The training is built on three research-based modules: Academics, Relationships and Finding the Way. Students were taught ways to showcase their school and assist other students as they transition in and out of school,” Davis said.

One activity, a ball toss game, taught the importance of planning; each school created an action plan for new students. Their puzzle game focused on finding a friend and fitting in a group; they created a puzzle for one mission statement.

S2S groups improve well-being for new students by helping them find their way around campus and within the community, understand their school’s academic requirements and processes and build relationships with other students, Davis believes.

In addition, S2S members gained self-confidence by strengthening their leadership, team building and communication skills.

In her work, Davis oversees implementation of certain components of a Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) grant written by Sharon Willis, district at-risk coordinator. One of those components is S2S and JS2S training.

To create the training, Davis worked with the Military Child Education Coalition, Redstone Arsenal, director of special education Dr. Maria Kilgore and Willis. Julie Coffey and Barbara Britt handled S2S training. Sherry Laffere was trainer for JS2S.

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