Peer mentoring creates relationships. Just as freshman look to the older kids at Klamath Union to help them guide their way through high school, moving from a middle school to high school can be an even greater transition for students. That is what the Ignite programs is all about.

Tuesday, Jan. 9, was the first day the Associated Student Body (ASB) of Klamath Union High School (KU) met with the Ponderosa eighth-graders on the Ignite program.

Ignite gives eighth-grade students an avenue in which to engage with their KU student counterparts. The KU students introduced themselves to next year’s incoming freshman with a series of activities that took place in eight different classrooms. The plan is to continue with these meetings four times throughout the school year.

The KU Ignite mentors started things off with an icebreaker in which the students were able to introduce themselves. The first activity called “Talking Ball” allowed eighth-graders to address and talk about myths they heard about Klamath Union. The second activity, “Things We Wish We Knew,” involved students writing down three things they wanted to know about high school. This was followed by an answer and question session supervised by the KU ASB mentors.

“I really liked advisory today because we sat in a circle and had a ball tossed to us,” said eighth-grader Emalie Lemieux. “We were able to talk about our concerns and the KU students did not just say ‘ok’ and move on, they gave advice and information.”

Ignite at Klamath Union is funded through a grant from Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation. Without their generosity, this program would not be possible.

For questions about Ignite and how it relates to Ponderosa Middle School, contact Principal Daymond Monteith, 541-883-4740. Marvin Dykstra is the ASB Advisor at Klamath Union High School, 541-883-4710.