Helping to Make a Difference
(Image: Helping Hands: Sam Valles, Sara Sjösten, Mr Maier & Mr Taylor. Photo: Duane)
Internationella Engelska Gymnasiet’s Student Care Team is set to launch Helping Hands in Week 41. Helping Hands is a new initiative undertaken with the School Council that involves students helping other students.
“Students often need support while attending gymnasium in academic subjects and sometimes with more personal matters,” says school councilor Mr Andrew Maier. “Helping Hands is a school initiative where students will be able to help their fellow classmates in math, natural science, languages, or what ever has got their head spinning!”
Under the guidance of Mr Maier & Mr Taylor
Initially, a group of thirty-one students will be working under the guidance of Mr Maier and Student Support Officer Mr Taylor but others are welcome to get involved.
“I want more students to take more social responsibility, and be empowered to help satisfy this need within the student body,” says Mr Maier.
Although some might fear that students aren’t qualified to provide help and support, Mr Maier disagrees.
“Students are often a better source of support and knowledge than adults,” he says. “They can relate quickly to each other. One need that all people have, especially strong in our teenage years, is the need to belong and feel supported by others.”
Dr Benedikz, principal of IEG, echoes Mr Maier’s sentiments. “ When children grow up there is a common underlining theme of adults doing for children what they aren’t ready or capable of doing themselves. At IEG we’ve seen how young people have an incredible passion for helping others in the community. The school wants to embrace that and provide an outlet for students to begin taking more adult responsibility.”
Help with Academics
A large part of Helping Hands will involve helping students with academic issues. For example, Mr Taylor will be co-ordinating the group to help students with their written English.
Another aspect of Helping Hands, though, will be to provide support for more personal issues.
“Sometimes students have personal problems. Our aim here,” says Mr Maier, “is to provide another source of support along with the Student Care Team. Students can share their troubles confidentially with a student from the Helping Hands Group.”
IEG’s Student Care Team is committed to ensuring that students working on the program are equipped to help.
“The group is undergoing training so they are prepared to assist students with more sensitive issues,” explains Mr Maier. “It’s important they have some training and also know when to seek help from myself and Mr Taylor.”
Mr Maier will be introducing Helping Hands to the school next week (Wk 41).
"Students are finding out from their friends and coming to me asking 'can I help as well?'" he says. "My answer is always 'yes, of course'. If a student is willing to give a hand for an hour a week, and we have many students doing this, we have a very helpful environment."
Student Discussion Forum
After the initial launch, Helping Hands will be introducing further initiatives: The School Council, for example, will be launching a website with a forum to provide homework help and there will also be the possibility of asking for help or guidance with personal problems anonymously.
Sam Valles, the School Council’s Minister of Public Relations, will be leading a committee of other students in managing the website.
“This is an exciting venture for the school,” says Dr Benedikz. “I am very excited to see where this takes not just the students involved but the whole IEG community.”
Image Credits: Helping Hands Team by Duane. Mr Maier © Svensk Skolfoto