On December 21, Gorham High School (GHS) students visited classrooms at Great Falls Elementary School to speak with students about what it’s like to be in high school and the choices they will face as they grow and make decisions about careers that may interest them.
This was part of a new program at GHS titled Adopt-A-Classroom. The idea spurred from last year’s senior walk at the Gorham schools, which ended up being an extremely popular event with both the seniors and elementary students.
Senior Kate Gilbert said she “read a book about different jobs in the community and how important it is to be a community helper. There was a farmer, a doctor, an astronaut, a firefighter, a dentist, etc. After each job in the book was introduced, I asked the students how they thought this person helped us.”
While the activities piqued the children’s interest, it also involved the GHS students beyond just running activities.
Junior Jacob Polchies helped in a fourth grade class. “I started by introducing myself, my grade, and what I might want to be when I grow up,” said Polchies. “Then everyone else did the same. I read them some pages from a book on careers and the kids really got into that and had a blast.”
The feedback, whether from teachers or students, was very positive. Senior Aaron Farr said that while he was unsure at first, he enjoyed every minute of the experience.
“I was put into a classroom of Kindergartners, an age group which I haven’t interacted with in the past, and took part in an hour of introducing them to potential career fields and getting them excited about their future,” said Farr.
He added, “I was extremely nervous prior to the event, but now I can’t wait to go back for our next visit. I could literally see how some of the kids’ faces lit up when we walked into the room, and their unbounded questions definitely kept the conversations interesting.”
Due to the success of the program, which was the first of its kind for Gorham, the high school has planned additional visits in February and early Spring. The plan is to not only return to Great Falls, but to branch out to Village and Narragansett Elementary Schools as well.