Whether it's cheering them on at basketball games or reading them Christmas stories during the holidays, over the last few months, members of the Student Government Association at Mount Saint Mary College have formed a bond with the fifth graders at Bishop Dunn Memorial School. Spectrum News spoke to one of the mentors, Edward Arnold, and one of the young students, Chase Piotrowski, via Skype.
"The thing I like about the program is just how Eddie and Joe teach me new things about how to help other people, like people in need," said Bishop Dunn fifth grader Chase Piotrowski.
But when the coronavirus threatened to derail the program, the Mount students refused to let that happen.
"While we're here quarantined in our houses, there's always something new to come up with for them," said Edward Arnold, the Mount Saint Mary Student Government Association President. "As far as what we just did this past week we surprised them, [we] joined their live stream."
Mount Saint Mary mentors surprised their fifth grade students on their teacher's Zoom online learning session last week.
"My teacher told us we were going to have a Zoom call, and then when they said Eddie and Joe were gonna be in it, I was really excited," said Piotrowski.
The group of fifth graders and college students used the virtual meet-up to brainstorm ways they can give back to nurses and doctors on the front lines in local hospitals.
"We got to get new ideas and generate new ideas on what we should do in terms of helping out those in need during this time," said Arnold.
The students, older and younger, have built friendships through service, despite the age difference.
"It can teach me to be in a government that helps people, and younger kids can help with that too," said Piotrowski.
The mentors plan to continue having virtual meet-ups to plan ways they can give back, even after the pandemic is over.
"Just doing something with them, whether it's weekly or bi-weekly, but always getting them involved, because they, in a sense, are our future," said Arnold.