Kindergartners look ahead to first grade without buddies, but new fun (from June print newspaper)


Ella Deyoung

The K-5 buddy program has been around a long time. From left, then Kindergartners Kira Findikyan, Liam Ginsburg and Waverly Nanda on the playground where they learned from their buddies (four years ago).

COLONIAL SCHOOL — Kindergartners were interviewed about not having fifth grade buddies next year and their thoughts on going into first grade.

For those that don’t know, the buddy program partners a fifth grader with a Kindergartner at the beginning of the school year. The school does this to make the Kindergartners feel welcome and always have someone to look up to.

For the first week back in October, the fifth graders ate lunch with their buddies and then went outside to play. Most of the boys taught their buddies how to play kickball. Most girls played anything that had to do with babies or house.

The fifth graders also had to help the Kindergartners get used to the playground rules, such as no climbing on the fence or on the rocks. Also, no climbing up the slide or hiding under the stairs, which many Kindergartners wanted to use as their “house.”

In general, the fifth graders showed the Kindergarten buddies around the playground, told them the rules of all the different playground games and became a “big person” friend to Colonial’s newest students.

The Kindergarten-fifth grade buddies often stay friends the whole year. And the fifth graders sometimes get hugs from their Kindergarten friends.

How do the Kindergartners feel about not having buddies next year?

“I’m sad because I’m going to miss her,” said Isabella Cross (KM).

“Sad because I won’t have a buddy next year,” said Jamie Moskowitz (KH).

“I feel sad because she chases me,” said Brooke Gilbertson (KM).

Not everyone agreed, though. “I feel happy not having a buddy next year because I can play lots of games that I can’t play with my buddy,” said David Forte (KH).

The fifth graders enjoyed working with their buddies.

Emma Russello, (5V) a new student at Colonial, told the Colonial Times website: “I didn’t have the program at my old school, and at first, I thought it was strange, but then I got to know my buddy. She’s so cute!”

Lynn Dvorkin (5V) said, “I like Jamie because she’s fun to play with and nice.”

How do the Kindergartners feel about going into first grade?

“I’m not scared because I get to make new friends,” said Kira Findikyan in class KH.

“I think it’ll be fun to go into first grade,” said David.

“I feel good about going into first grade because I want to be seven,” said Isabella.

In first grade, the Kindergartners are going to be learning adding and subtracting, writing workshops for writing, new words in spelling and much more.

“I’m excited to learn how to count to a hundred,” said Juliet Roden (KM).

“I want to learn what seven plus seven is in math,” said Kira.

“I want to learn new trick words,” said Isabella.

“I want to do the project where you build a farm,” said David.

Erin Moskowitz (KM) said she was going to miss her teacher, Ms. Kathleen McCarthy, the most.

“I’m going to miss chase time,” said Waverly Nanda (KM).

“I’m going to miss my teacher,” said Isabella, who also has Ms. McCarthy.

“I’m going to miss my buddy,” said Juliet.

This story appeared in the June print edition of the Colonial Times.