First through third grade students never forget when it’s Lunch Buddy day. They treasure their time with their high school buddies who eat lunch with them once a month all year long. After lunch the pairs play together during recess.

“At Freeman Academy, we know the value of integrating students of different ages. In the Lunch Buddy program, high school students learn to mentor younger children,” said Head of School Nathan Epp. “They have opportunities to coach them about making good choices and to encourage them in their studies. The elementary students look up to and value the high school students speaking into their lives, not to mention they have a lot of fun together during recess.”

Age-integrated projects and lessons are sprinkled throughout the year.  In the fall, high school science teacher Carol Stastny and grades 1-3 teacher Karla Rupp teamed up to use age-integrated learning on a science lesson. After Carol’s biology students finished their unit on tree identification, they met with elementary students to pass on their knowledge on a nice fall day in the arboretum.


“Teaching is a great way to reinforce knowledge,” said Stastny. “That’s one reason why we have high school students teaching elementary students. Both groups learn when they interact with each other.”