Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a
million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
– Robert F. Kennedy
Peer Leader Program History
The Peer Leader program formally known as the Peer Helper program has been in existence at L-S since the early 1980’s. The Peer Helper Program came from a national peer helper program that many schools at the time were implementing.(http://www.peerprogramprofessionals.org/about/)
As educators we know that adolescents are more willing to share problems with their peers first before seeking out the counsel of adults. However most adolescents are not equipped with the skills to help their friends. The Peer Helper trains students in active listening, communication skills, decision making and health issues pertinent to teens.
Then and Now
Then: Peer Helper Course
6-8 students met once a week with a trained Peer Helper Faculty Member.
The group acted as a peer support while also teaching leadership and counseling skills
Peer Helper 2
Once trained as peer helpers, students would co-faciliate a peer leader group or go and work at the middle schools for a full-year for one hour a week.
Today: Peer Leader
One two hour training on basic peer helper skills; Internships in elementary, middle and high school for minimum of 2 hours peer week; one hour mid year check in meeting and opportunities for students to volunteer for other events such as Q&A sessions for incoming 9th Graders.
Other Links/Publications on Peer Leader Programs: