2019/20 is the first school year for the “First Responder Mentorship Program,” a program created to help youth build connections with first responders and law enforcement outside of emergency situations and other scenarios.
According to Brandy Gearheart, Social Studies teacher at Clarksville Middle School, the program was started because “there are so many times when the police and firefighters visit the elementary school, but when [the students] get to middle school, those visits just stop.”
Gearheart said whether they know it or not, middle school is when most kids decide whether they will go down a good path or not, and she hopes that bringing even more positive role models into the school will help them make the right choices.
The students and first responders will get together again in January; that time, students will venture to the Clarksville Police Department for lunch.
While only 5th and 6th graders are in the program now, those students will remain in the program as they advance through the school and each year, more 5th graders will be added.
“By the time these 5th graders leave us, they’ll have four years of mentoring. And that’s just awesome,” Gearheart said.