LA MIRADA - Norwalk-La Mirada Unified’s Los Coyotes Middle School is being honored with a Golden Bell Award for a student mentoring program, Where Everybody Belongs (WEB), which supports incoming sixth-graders as they transition from elementary to middle school.
WEB connects eighth-graders with new students, making them feel welcomed to the school. Mentors meet before and after school, and during lunch to plan, organize and carry out a series of social and academic activities, including movie nights, Academic Saturday School and Homework Club.
“Earning this award is really exciting because it is not only us, but the past years of WEB leaders as well,” Eighth-grade WEB mentor Miseok Kim said. “The leaders were always kind and considerate to the sixth- and seventh-graders.”
Miseok immigrated to California from South Korea when she was 8 years old. She heard that middle school was the toughest year for students in the U.S.
“I was so worried about entering sixth grade,” Miseok said. “But my WEB leader was really patient and answered all of my questions clearly, which left an impression on me. It made the transition so much better for me.”
Mentors learn the effectiveness of strong communication and the importance of accepting others, skills that help them adjust when they make the transition from middle to high school.
“Through WEB, I not only helped students acclimate to middle school, but I also helped myself,” La Mirada High senior and former WEB mentor Zach Moore said. “I then took the lessons I learned from WEB and applied them to my leadership in Link Crew as vice president and as a link leader.”
Prospective mentors apply for the program during spring semester. Once selected, they spend three days at the end of summer training with Los Coyotes WEB coordinators, developing techniques in teamwork and goodwill, as well as examining conflict resolution and anti-bullying strategies.
“The WEB program at Los Coyotes serves as a model for positive behavior reinforcement and anti-bullying dialogues across the District,” NLMUSD Superintendent Dr. Hasmik Danielian said. “Congratulations to Los Coyotes for receiving such a prestigious honor.”