Hundreds of kids poured off Brighton Area School buses in front of this morning all dressed in their brand new back-to-school clothes -- all except about 30 8th-graders who sported neon orange Scranton Leadership shirts.
These standout students spent the morning helping fellow students open lockers, find their way to classes and making sure new students acclimate well on the first day of the new year.
This is the first year for the program at Scranton. Amy McCarthy, a Scranton eighth-grade English teacher and one of the faculty sponsors for the program, said staff members decided it would be the best way to get kids involved with the school.
"The first week of school is super stressful, so these first four days, these kids wearing these orange shirts will just be visible throughout the whole building," McCarthy said. "The kids know they (Leaders) are helpers that can help them with whatever they might need."
The students were selected by seventh-grade teachers based upon their leadership and potential.
Leadership students will also be involved in the beautification of the school with bi-weekly clean ups and planting flowers in the spring. They will help out at school assemblies.
"The most important part of this group is that these 30 kids will be the eyes and ears to our 1,200 students here," McCarthy said. "They'll be asked to communicate what's going on in the building, to tell us what we need to do better and to help kids be comfortable here. They will help implement a strong, positive change here. So they're going to be wearing these shirts all year long."
Scranton Middle School Principal Mark Wilson said the program is a positive addition for the school where kids take ownership for each other.
"This is not something that's contrived," he said. "Kids step in and help each other and it builds true community within the school."
Wilson said the plan is to add seventh-grade students to the program halfway through the year.
"The goal is to have an army of kids that do well for others," he said.