5th graders go through boot camp to ease middle school anxieties

Posted at 4:35 PM, May 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-21 19:17:09-04

MERIDIAN — Fifth graders at River Valley Elementary School are learning to be middle-schoolers before they graduate.

"P.E. Madness where we had to put on a shirt and go through an obstacle course," said 5th grader.

They're going through a middle school boot camp, to prepare themselves before the year starts. The exciting change in pace for the students comes with its fair share of nerves as well.

"A lot of my fifth graders have a lot of anxiety and fears about going to middle school because they're going to a bigger school there's a lot of unknowns," said school counselor Amy Gamez.

Some of those are related to the more technical side of middle school.

"Lockers," said a fifth grader, "probably most nervous about being late to my classes," said another classmate.

Other anxieties require more intense conversations.

"Talking about what the definition of bullying because that's a big topic with kids that are going into middle school, they're afraid that they might get bullied, so we talk about some safe practices to prevent that from happening," said school resource officer Kirk York.

Kirk York, the River Valley student resource officer, is teaching about internet safety and social media. As students leave each station, teachers hope they head into their summer more at ease.

"It really reduces it so significantly that then they feel more confident when they go to middle school, they're happier, and they feel like I've got this," said Gamez.