Sophomore Starts a New Program to Make a Change for Lower Schoolers


Madeline Mehall

Brain Buddies logo created by Lily Hyde and Lisa Koger

Madeline Mehall, Reporter

Sophomore Lily Hyde ’24 saw an opportunity in the fourth grade curriculum, and she decided to see if she could help make a change.

“In Lower School, especially in fourth grade, your brain is at such an important stage, and if that is the case, why don’t we learn more about it?” Hyde said.

Hyde asked herself this question last year after learning about the brain in Kathryn Perkins’s Biology class. After wondering why younger students aren’t learning about how the brain works, she decided to do something about it. So, she started a program called Brain Buddies.

Brain Buddies is a program where high schoolers in any grade get the opportunity to go visit the fourth graders and teach them about the brain. It is a brand new program and has no affiliation with any Upper School club. It is a community service organization.

They have 35 upper school volunteers; the majority of them are sophomores. The students can get a few of their required service hours for participating. 

During these visits, upper schoolers teach the younger students how to take care of their brains, prevent concussions, and know how their brain works. They also talk about how important exercise and nutrition are. 

“We do this so that they can live meaningful lives,” Hyde said.

Hyde’s goal was to find a way to teach lower schoolers to understand their brains and to also grow a relationship with these fourth graders.

They meet two times a month, and they meet with two classes at a time. This semester, they are only meeting four times because of all of the holiday events. They have already met during the month of October. They met with Alicia Schordine’s and Kelly Jenkins’s fourth grade classes on October 18 and with Sara McCullough’s and Joan Massey’s fourth grade classes on October 25. 

Their next meetings are on December 6 and December 13. 

Activities vary from meeting to meeting. At their most recent meeting, they introduced themselves and got to know each other. They watched a BrainPOP video and took a short quiz about the different brain regions. They also did an arts and crafts activity where they labeled parts of the brain. The goal is that they will have the same buddies throughout the year. 

“I love getting to know my fourth grader and spending time with them,” sophomore Eloise Senter said.

Applications for the 2022-2023 school year will go out in August 2022. You can also apply to be a part of the program next semester. If you are interested, you can contact Hyde at [email protected]