By: Gideon Hyman ’20 and Lauren Nehorai ’20
The program is now mandatory for seventh graders but remains voluntary for eighth and ninth graders. There are now two extra meetings, and Big Sibs are now required to spend time with their Little Sibs outside of the meeting time, either by attending a sports game, performance or sitting with them at lunch.
“I really like how Big Sibs are now encouraged to spend more time with their Little Sibs because I think it gives them more time to bond and also strengthens their relationship,” Big Sib Advisor Izzy Baradaran ‘20 said.
By adding extra meetings and bonding time, being a Big Sib now fulfills the eighth and ninth grade school service requirement. The program has also become more institutionalized and meetings are now indicated in each student’s planner and in the school’s master schedule.
“I really like the fact that being a Big Sib now counts as school service. I think it is a nice way of giving credit to older students who are volunteering their time to spend with younger students,” Big Sib Lauren Cho ‘21 said
In the program, a seventh grader is paired with an older student on campus, and they meet every Friday at break to bond and get to know each other. The purpose of this addition is to help seventh graders feel relaxed and comfortable around older students, offer leadership and mentoring opportunities for older students, and to integrate the school community.
“This year, more students are involved in the program and have helped make a statement about who we are as a school. Getting to know each other and having fun is now a part of who we are,” Big Sibs program head Rabbi Emily Feigenson said.
The Big Sibs program also hosted its annual Field Day during break, on Sept. 23. Each sib pair or group chose an activity to participate in. The options included Nation Ball, Water Balloon Toss, Paper Airplane making, Relay Races, Dodgeball, Capture the Flag, Island Hopping and an Electronic Scavenger Hunt.
“I really enjoyed Field Day, and I thought it was cool to spend time with my Big Sib in a fun and competetive environment, and I am looking forward to getting to know him even more,” Little Sib Quincey Dern ‘22 said.