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ERIC Number: EJ996918
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 2
ISSN: ISSN-1559-243X
Little People, Big Helpers: Implementing Elementary Peer Programs Is Possible and Powerful
Townsend, Ashley C.
Perspectives in Peer Programs, v24 n1 p14-18 Fall-Win 2012-2013
In the last few years, peer programs have grown in popularity around the country, supported by a growing body of research and the rewards of seeing teenagers' lives changed. Elementary peer programs, with their different set of typical issues, schedule demands, and personnel availability, are certainly different from their middle- and high-school counterparts. However, as sponsors are discovering, elementary programs are a possible, powerful tool for change among even the youngest students. A look through the window of the teacher workroom shows four students, one seated at each side of a table. They talk quietly, obviously very serious about their discussion. Two of them, eleven years old, wear name tags, take notes, listen actively, and ask thoughtful questions of their eight-year-old tablemates. They are conducting a peer mediation. Just down the hall, two other peer helpers introduce themselves to a new student, hand him a gift bag, and explain how snack time works. On the playground, a peer helper sits near the jungle gym with a first grader to help her meet and talk to other students. In a second-grade classroom, a pair of peer helpers discusses the negative impacts of gossip with a group of girls. All of these activities have taken place at Daphne East Elementary School, Daphne, Alabama, since its opening in 2004. However, as is the case at most elementary schools around the country, these activities were formerly conducted by teachers. The Daphne East Peer Helpers group was formed in April 2011 when teachers April Thomas and Ashley Townsend selected and trained a group of 24 fifth-grade students, but theirs is not the only new program in the area. As of this school year, Baldwin County now has a peer program in each of its 44 schools.
National Association of Peer Programs. P.O. Box 10627, Gladstone, MO 64188. Tel: 877-314-7337; Tel: 816-436-7641; Fax: 866-314-7337; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Alabama