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San Jacinto mentor program blankets students in warmth, security, comfort

By in Press Enterprise on December 28, 2017

By Diane A. Rhodes

Wrapping a blanket around oneself can provide warmth, security and most of all, comfort. That was the reason behind the Hyatt Blanket Program that helps elementary school children in San Jacinto feel all those things from high school students who mentor them.

Established in the spring, the program was the brainchild of principals Inelda Luna from Edward Hyatt Elementary and Luke Smith from San Jacinto High. The idea was to have older students serve as role models in a big brother/sister type of mentoring relationship to students in kindergarten through fifth grade who may be struggling academically or socially.

About 30 high school students take the bus during their lunch period once a month to visit with the younger students at the elementary school, about two miles away. Approximately half of the high school students are members of the National Honor Society and others are from Link Crew, a club where existing students help freshmen transition into high school, or hand-picked by high school instructor and NHS adviser Jessica Macdonald.

  • San Jacinto High School senior, Guadalupe Botello Urincho, visits with a third-grader as part of the Hyatt Blanket Program on Dec. 6, 2017. (Photo by Diane A. Rhodes, contributing photographer)

  • San Jacinto High School junior Jesse Rincon, chats with his third-grade mentee during a Hyatt Blanket Program monthly visit on Dec. 6, 2017. (Photo by Diane A. Rhodes, contributing photographer)

    San Jacinto High School junior Jesse Rincon, chats with his third-grade mentee during a Hyatt Blanket Program monthly visit on Dec. 6, 2017. (Photo by Diane A. Rhodes, contributing photographer)

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