The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Dallas Smith

WEB program trains teachers and students


Dallas Smith

SPINNING THE ‘WEB’: Tamara Johnson, who runs the Where Everyone Belongs program with Sherelle Wanderscheid, stands on the bleachers while fifth graders and WEB leaders spread out in preparation for more fun and games.

Thanks to Project Boomerang, a peer mentoring, student transition program, the Goldendale Middle School (GMS) has had its second fifth-grade orientation.

Students and teachers alike may be more familiar with the transitional program Link Crew at the high school, but the Where You Belong (WEB) program is still fairly new. The program trains the teachers in charge of WEB at their school, and they in turn train the eighth grade volunteers to be WEB leaders. During the fifth grade orientations, parents were welcomed to a meeting where they learned what to expect from the upcoming year.

Since the eighth grade, WEB leaders have experience in the school and are the fifth graders’ peers, they help to make the transition from the primary school to the middle school. After an opening assembly full of games and fun where laughs and smiles abounded the fifth graders are each sent to a group with two WEB leaders to play games and get to know each other. “We do this to help them form a relationship and feel comfortable,” says Tamara Johnson, who, along with Sherelle Wanderscheid, runs the WEB program at GMS.

After doing seven or eight activities, the fifth graders are taken on a tour of GMS by their WEB leaders. Then once tours have finished, they are taken to their lockers to learn their combinations and locker locations. Once finished there is a closing assembly and to end the day everyone was provided pizza for lunch.

Dallas Smith

‘WEB’ MASTERS: Sherelle Wanderscheid (left) and Tamara Johnson go over what to expect in the coming school year.

During the opening assembly there were smiles and laughs coming from everyone. Johnson and Wanderscheid made the assembly fun with games and humor that really engaged the fifth graders. One of the games they played had two rival groups that had to do a pop-the-balloon relay. In order to win, each member ran a balloon to their team’s waiting chair, then had to sit on the balloon to pop it before the next team member could go. The rules sound simple enough, but the balloons had other ideas. There were roars of laughter when balloon popping attempts continued to go awry, but in the end everybody was able to pop their balloons.

The Where You Belong program is going to continue its run here at GMS. It helps to prepare the incoming fifth graders for their first year of middle school and provides the opportunity to become a leader for the eighth grade WEB leaders.


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