The transition from elementary school to middle school is a significant milestone in the lives of these children, and as such, can incorporate significant difficulties. The transition from the friendly environment in elementary school to middle school, together with the rising intensity of puberty experienced at this age, underscores the complexity and importance of this period with regard to the formation of each child’s personality, and the transition to the next tumultuous, emotional and unknown stage of middle school.
At this stage of transition, there is tremendous importance for the presence of significant supporting parties, including the Mentor, in the lives of the program’s participants.
Youth Futures’ “Transitions” model relates to the activities of the Mentor during sixth grade, the transition to middle school, and the initial time in middle school. This entire period includes emotional preparation for the transition to middle school, bidding farewell to the Mentor and the elementary school, becoming familiar with the new middle school and the central personalities therein, identifying the strengths the children possess that will aid in a successful transition, and marking this transition through meaningful ceremonies appropriate to each sector and cultural segment.
This period is also significant and formative for the children’s parents who encounter new dilemmas and challenges different to those they contended with in the past. It is for this reason that the parents are significant partners in the “Transitions” program from the very outset. The “Transitions” program comprises two dual processes – those conducted with the children together with their parents, and those conducted with the parents and children individually – related to topics such as positive communications with teenagers, healthy sexuality, instances of risk for teenagers, etc.