Leadership is a crucial element of the Wornick curriculum and is carefully interwoven into daily student life. Our Buddy Program pairs 3rd graders with the Kindergarteners, 4th graders with 1st graders and 7th graders with 2nd graders. Buddies go to Tefilah together each day. The older child goes to the younger child’s class room and together they walk down to our Ulam Gadol (Assembly Room) to begin the day. They sit together with the older children holding the Siddur and helping their buddy to follow along. Based on this foundation, the children develop a relationship that continues beyond Tefillah that is completely student driven. It’s not unusual to see one waving to another as they pass in the hallways or even giving each other hug.
The Buddy Program creates a win-win situation in which the older children feel responsible as a role models and empowered as leaders. The younger children get special attention that helps increase their confidence and immediately raises their comfort level. Further, having an older buddy raises the comfort-level and confidence of the younger children and at the same time creates experiential leadership training for the older children. The Wornick Buddy Program is a critical element in creating the warm, caring environment that we foster on our campus.