Principal Scott Bergerhouse has always believed that young students really look up to older students. And with that in mind, he started the recent mentoring program at Carmen Dragon Elementary.
The Antioch school plays host to a weekly gathering of 19 Deer Valley High students who provide mentoring to some of Carmen Dragon's fifth-graders.
Meetings and training began in September, with the program officially kicking off last month. The elementary group was selected from a pool of its after-school tutorial course.
The goals: "Focus on positive relationships and positive mind (academically and socially), make good decisions, and realize anybody can be successful with sound and strong dedication and commitment," Bergerhouse said.
"This is one-to-one communication," said Bergerhouse, who likes the idea of high-schoolers meeting regularly with his young charges.
"This is an opportunity for students to communicate and build a positive relationship" similar to a Big Brother/Big Sister, he said.
The meetings cover positive decision making, goal setting, future schooling and social issues.
The principal initially met with Deer Valley High teacher Lena Timrott, who developed a mentoring club there.
"This is a fabulous opportunity for (everyone)," he said.
In the future, Bergerhouse would like to expand the program to fourth grade. He's also interested in working with middle schools.
"(I hope for) more of an awareness for their future as they strive toward excellence -- socially and academically."
For more information, call 925-776-4760.
TEEN SCENE: The Antioch Chamber of Commerce will honor a Youth of the Year during its annual citizen of the year event March 14.
The award will recognize the contributions the recipient has made to the community. Nominations are being accepted through Feb. 7.
The nomination criteria include services and benefits rendered by the nominee to other people or groups in Antioch, and may include information about scholastic achievements, civic involvement and leadership.
The nominee must be an Antioch resident or Antioch Unified School District student. In addition, all nominations must be in writing, include a photo and information to support the nomination. Nominees must be 18 or younger.
For nomination forms and more information, drop by the Antioch Chamber of Commerce, 101 * St., Unit 4, call 925-757-1800, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
DONATION FUND GROWS: We recently highlighted Hailey Hartrick's winning efforts in raising money to buy custom vests for the Antioch Police Department's K-9 unit.
The Park Middle School 8th-grader had garnered more than $6,700 before the holidays, but recently bumped that amount to an impressive $11,600, thanks to the local Rotary Club's additional $5,000 contribution.
The Antioch teen presented her contribution to the police department during a recent city council meeting, and is set to be honored by the community service club with a youth award.
ENROLLMENT TIME: For those in far East County, now is the chance to request a high school transfer.
During February, students who live within the Liberty Union High School District but would like to attend a school not designated for their residential area, must apply for an intradistrict transfer. The schools include Freedom, Heritage and Liberty. This is for the 2014-15 school year.
Decisions will be made by May 15, and not all requests will be approved. Request forms are at the district office, 20 Oak St., Brentwood, or online starting Feb. 1 at http://luhsd.net. For more information, call 925-634-2166 ext. 2021.
Workshops available: Antioch High hosts a morning of workshops for high school students and their parents from 9 to 11:45 a.m. Jan. 25 at 700 W. 18th St.
The free event features guest speaker John Jimno, principal at Antioch's Park Middle School.
Workshops include Car Basics 101 (from proper tire pressure to checking the oil); Cash for College (financial aid info); time management and organization skills information from REACH; and a teacher-led homework session. Call 925-779-7780.
If you have school news to share, contact Trine Gallegos at email@example.com. Note: Trine also does community outreach for Antioch High.