My Lunch Bunch Experience

Paul Breda
6 Potter Lane
Wharton, NJ 07885
(973) 366-2845
paul.breda@hotmail.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/paulbreda

March 24, 2018

To whom it may concern;

I participate in Generation Text Online’s Parent Involvement and Community Engagement Program as a Lunch Bunch mentor. Every Monday, I meet with five seventh-grade boys while they eat their lunch in a designated classroom. I was provided with a detailed framework in the form of a written manual to help guide discussions around a wide range of social-emotional skills.

This group was built around one particular boy who was identified by teachers as struggling with all of his classes. He was asked to invite some friends who might enjoy an opportunity to talk about what’s going on in their lives. Several months later, these boys tell us how they look forward to their Monday lunch time together. We start by sharing our “highs-and-lows” – recent events or circumstances that have been particularly good (highs), and those “not so much” (lows). For pre-adolescent boys, this is a rare opportunity to express hopes and fears, and have others listen. Beyond that, wider areas for emotional development are opened: how to actively listen; how to demonstrate respect (or, in the converse, what actions are seen as disrespectful?); expressing empathy; how to effectively advocate for yourself, especially with adults – to name a few.

This has been a powerful and fulfilling opportunity for me to support a small group of boys – at a vulnerable age between childhood and adulthood – develop emotional and social skills that I expect will positively impact their personal and academic success. My understanding and expectation of the Generation Text Online program is that this practice will extend to teachers in the classroom, as well. I am a board of education member, and I know the high standards and expectations to which we hold our teachers for levels of student achievement. I often fear that in this pursuit of academic performance, we will come to undervalue the social and emotional skills that our kids so dearly need today. Validation for GenText Online’s approach comes from parents and their glowing reports of the differences they see in their kids at home as a result of their participation – less anxiety about school, more communicative, more confident.

I can highly recommend the Generation Text Online program for its empowerment of students, and teaching them the relational skills that will prove critical in their lives, regardless of the future paths

Whether you are a school administrator, teacher, parent, mentor or corporation, we can design a program to suit your needs. Let’s make the connection!

4 + 6 =

Lunch Bunch success

The students you meet with in the “lunch bunch” are so excited to go to the program each week.

My experience with Generation Text has given me a framework for living

Being a part of the Generation Text Online mentor program has taught me the importance of being mentally and physically happy.

I felt safe sharing

It has been great to get to know better the other people with whom I work. Timothy did a great job making it feel like a welcoming environment in which we could feel safe sharing.

An absolute joy!

It was so inspiring to watch you all doing what you are passionate about. Thank you for a wonderful experience.

There is a huge discrepancy between what students thing and what teachers think

While adults may believe they are doing enough, students do not think we are.

Digital Footprint is so important

In order to be a highly effective teacher it is essential to conduct lessons that include students going online independently.