CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WKBW) — A local middle school is taking a fresh, proactive approach to help battle bullying, before it even starts.
It's through a program called, "Where Everyone Belongs" or W.E.B.. The initiative pairs up incoming sixth graders in the Cleveland Hill school district with eighth grade mentors.
These mentors will work with the younger students to help encourage kindness and inclusion as the students make the sometimes difficult transition to middle school. The older students will also learn leadership techniques to help them feel more confident about intervening if they witness bullying.
"We like this program because it is such a proactive approach," said Cleve-Hill middle school principal Andrea Kersten. "It's about educating students about how to behave, about the rules of our school and how to transition successfully to middle school."
According to Kersten, the school is in the process of selecting the final W.E.B. mentors from a pool of fifty candidates.
Starting in September and every month after that, the hand-selected W.E.B. mentors will meet with the sixth graders to offer support, friendship or to teach a lesson.