Link Program enters 6th year at Rockford High School

The 2012-13 school year marks the sixth year of the successful Link Crew Program at Rockford High School.

The program trains seniors and juniors in mentorship and leadership activities and techniques that they use throughout the school year. Freshmen are placed in small groups of about 10 students and are assigned two Crew Leaders.

RHS Link Leaders introduce the transition program on the first day of school to incoming freshmen.

RHS Link Leaders introduce the transition program on the first day of school to incoming freshmen.

Kathy Mattson, RHS Link coordinator, tells more about the Link Crew program with words from its creators, The Boomerang Project,

“Link Crew is a high school transition program that welcomes freshmen and makes them feel comfortable throughout the first year of their high school experience.”

Incoming RHS freshmen participate with high-fives in the Link program in September.

Incoming RHS freshmen participate with high-fives in the Link program in September.

Built on the belief that students can help students succeed, this program trains mentors from your junior and senior classes to be Link Crew Leaders. As positive role models, Link Crew Leaders are mentors and student leaders who guide the freshmen to discover what it takes to be successful during the transition to high school and help facilitate freshman success.

Over the past six years, RHS students have consistently demonstrated their interest in and commitment to the Link program. Upperclassmen apply for the position of Link Leader each spring. In 2012, over 60 students applied for the 27 positions. Link Crew Leaders must attend 10 hours of training during the summer to prepare for opening day activities with freshmen and are also responsible for ongoing training throughout the school year.

Mattson noted, “Last year, the Link Crew Program expanded to include leaders for our growing population of foreign exchange students. These students have different experiences and backgrounds than our freshmen do, and they still require outreach and an introduction to American education and culture. The success of that outreach and connection continues this year with 13 foreign exchange students and their leaders.”

In early November, Rockford’s 27 Link Crew Leaders will engage with hundreds of other Link Leaders from central Minnesota and Wisconsin at a conference. This conference allows Leaders to share ideas and take part in engaging, meaningful training with a keynote speaker who emphasizes the broad international scope of this transitions program.

The Link Coordinators at Rockford High School are Kathy Mattson and Caroline Young. Please contact them for more information at 763-477-5846 or visit http://www.boomerangproject.com/high-school-transition.

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