H. Frank Carey Launches Family Ties
H. Frank Carey High School has resurrected its most successful mentoring program, Family Ties. One of the program’s greatest strengths is its pairing of teachers and selected upperclassmen with seventh-grade students. Family Ties gets its name from the premise that a teacher, older student and younger student make up a unique school “family.”
As part of the program, teachers and upperclassmen team up with an assigned seventh-grader to help him or her with most anything that arises in the life of a new student at Carey. The volunteers offer assistance in a variety of areas, including academics, organizational skills and the transition from elementary school to high school. They also provide social and emotional support, or just simply offer friendship. The seventh-graders benefit greatly from the tie they make with their new family.
To launch the program, Assistant Principal Sharon Flynn hosted a mixer luncheon in the gymnasium during all four lunch periods on Jan. 29. At that time, the newly formed families were introduced and the more than 150 participants engaged in fun icebreaker activities. Students and teachers enjoyed a lunch donated by the H. Frank Carey PTSA during the upbeat event. Before the luncheon ended, each family unit wrote about what they hope to gain from participating in the program.
The trend in responses included: getting to know more people at Carey, developing strong relationships with other students and teachers, doing better in school, being able to say hello to new people in the hallway, developing better study habits, having people to trust and talk to about things and getting the most out of Carey.
“I was profoundly moved by what I observed at the luncheon,” said English teacher and program participant Jeryl Inglima. “It felt wonderful to be part of something that makes such a big difference.” Family Ties embraces the fact that Carey is a 7-12 building and shines a spotlight on just how wonderful that dynamic can be. Ms. Flynn believes that all involved in the program
will gain a sense of pride, accomplishment, trust and comfort in knowing they are part of such a special initiative.