Ambassador program helps new students get back to school - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/24/09

Ambassador program helps new students get back to school

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By Ann Wyatt Little  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A new school year means new friends and new classrooms for nearly 28,000 students across the south plains and school administrators say the first day sets the classroom tone for the entire year.

NewsChannel 11's Ann Wyatt Little was at one school Monday as new and old students returned after summer break.

Many students walked into a school that was different or foreign than last year's and one group of Wester Elementary Ambassadors spent the day trying to make new students feel right at home. "Some people think it's scary but others when you walk through the door they get happy," says 5th grader Dylan Burton. "The new kids don't really know what to do," says Samantha Mata.  

And it's Dylan Burton and Samantha Mata's job to make sure new students know what to do. "You don't know a lot of people and people try to be funny, smart and cool but all you need to be is yourself," says Burton. The 5th graders are just two of Wester Elementary 43 ambassadors, a new program to help 2nd through 5th graders settle into Whirlwind ways.

"They said ambassador so someone's going to rule over me? I was confused but it all worked out," says new 5th grader Garrett Lee.

"Since you're new and it's the first day you have an ambassador to show you around," says Natalie Rosales. The ambassadors don't just help other students

Dr. Karen Garza, the new LISD Superintendent got the same tour new students received. "Certainly for adults, even for me when you are doing something new and for children that anxiety is sometimes more significant it's good to have a buddy to show you around," says Dr. Garza.

Wester Principal Julee Becker says anyone can be an ambassador."When you are brand new you need someone to give you that door and with this program you're my ambassador so that means I get to talk to you," says Principal Becker.

A door Wester students say they can't wait to walk through tomorrow. "At school you're supposed to learn to make friends, it's not something that is just for learning it's about friends too," says Burton.

Principal Becker says she plans on keeping the Ambassador program around.

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