Taking a trip down memory lane, this story may remind some of the nervous excitement they felt when starting middle school or what some remember as junior high school. Knowing you’ll soon begin a new journey in a big school filled with people you know, and many you don’t know, can certainly get the adrenaline flowing! Those feelings are where we begin this D11 story.
When Raelyn, a new 6th-grader at the start of the 2021-2022 school year, started at Jenkins Middle School last year, she worried that she wouldn’t have any friends. That was until she met Jaycen. Jaycen, at the time, was also a 6th grader. Jaycen ultimately became Raelyn’s best friend, and now that the two of them are 7th graders, they seem to finish each other's sentences!
Their principal, Mr. Jackowski, says developing friendships in middle school is key to a successful transition from elementary to middle school. “That’s why I encourage kids to get involved in clubs and activities to build that sense of belonging.”
Sharing the same likes, such as chocolate ice cream and their favorite gaming app, these two students have supported each other during difficult times. They even share a birthday! Raelyn says, “the most important reason he became my friend is that he likes me for who I am, and I get to be myself around him. I don’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not.” This is an important lesson for us all!