Study Buddy is a program where a high school students mentor and tutor elementary school students for one hour after school, once a week for eight-weeks. The program is sponsored by San Dieguito Alliance and the elementary schools' PTAs. San Dieguito Alliance is a community based nonprofit collaboration of parents, students and community members who provide alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention education and activities. The PTA provides the site coordinators, the refreshments and supplies. San Dieguito Alliance trains coordinators, makes presentations to teens, manages the application process and matches study buddies.
In Study Buddy, the teen and elementary school student pairs spend time on schoolwork, organization and study skills for the first 40 minutes of the session. The last 20 minutes are spent sharing common interests, such as drawing, reading, playing games or going outside on the playground for a sports activity. The elementary student is recommended to the program by their classroom teacher because they need extra personal attention and/or academic attention.
Both the high school student and elementary school student benefit from the Study Buddy program. During the application process, the high school student takes an oath to be alcohol and drug free and have respect for academic scholarship. The teen is trained to be an active listener and will provide a positive role model for the elementary student. The high school student gains self-confidence and develops a connection to his community by working in the elementary schools. The elementary students gain much needed personal academic attention from a positive role model who exemplifies healthy and safe choices.
The elementary schools have two Study Buddy sessions during the school year—one in the fall and one in the spring. Twelve elementary schools are participating this year with 400 students being served by 400 teens. In addition, there are 20 parent coordinators.
At the program's completion, certificates are given to all participants. The certificate has a buddy pair photo and the number of community service hours is printed on the teens’ certificate. In addition, each high school participant receives a congressional certificate congratulating them on their participation in helping to shape a child's life.