Role: 5th grader in the Community
Lily attended Staggasaurus, a preschool program through Stagg High School.
I’m only 10 years old, but I already graduated from Stagg. I went to Staggasaurus when I was three and four. There were student helpers there that helped teach the class. Students at Stagg can sign up for their own class during their school days to “teach” the preschool class. Two of the students really helped me: Emily and Krystal. They made me scrapbooks. The scrapbooks were really cute, and they were filled with pictures of all the different memories I had with the student helpers. I thought that was really sweet, even though it was probably a grade for them.
Emily wanted to ask her boyfriend to prom, and she had me hold up a sign that said “Will you go to prom with me?” At first, I was kind of weirded out. I was like, “What the heck is happening?” because I didn’t even know what prom was when I was only four! At first, I held the sign up backwards and put it in front of my face. I was kind of scared. After I started talking to her boyfriend, I lifted it down and flipped it over for him to see.
I live by a baseball field, and I remember seeing Krystal there one day. I was really excited because three years had passed since we both graduated from Stagg. It was cool talking to her about our special memories.
I remember the playground in the courtyard at Stagg. Every time we went out there, we would take turns pushing each other down the slides. The high schoolers played with us, too. The playground was in a pretty big area, so we would run around there and play tag. We had outdoor recess, but when it was raining or cold, we just stayed inside.
We always had snack time, too. There was an adult teacher who taught the student helpers how to be good teachers. She used to bring yellow peppers, and I tried one. I really liked it, which is surprising because I’m a picky eater! Now, I don’t really like them. It’s kind of weird.
We also did crafts. I think the art projects made me a better artist. It helped to create my big imagination and improve my scissor skills, which makes me a great artist today. Our three main activities were recess, crafts, and food.
Sometimes when I’m at school now, I think about Staggasaurus and all the memories I made there. Palos East is a lot different than my days at Staggasaurus. My biggest struggle right now is my weekly spelling tests because I get overwhelmed. When I take the practice tests at my house, I do pretty well, but then when I do the actual tests at my school, I don’t. I don’t blame my teachers at Staggasaurus. They weren’t the people who were supposed to teach me how to spell hard words. They taught me how to spell words like “a”, and “I”, and “and.” They shouldn’t have to teach me how to spell hard words like “history” or “geography.”
At Palos East, we only switch teachers for our math class. Next year, when I go to Palos South, it’s going to be all different teachers for different subjects. I feel like the change of classrooms will be better because then I won’t be with the same teacher in the same classroom all day long. At Staggasaurus, we didn’t stay in the same seats for the whole day. We stood up, went outside, and we even went around the school sometimes.
I was a little nervous to walk around with all the high schoolers there. Even though I have three older siblings, I was scared of the students because they were so much older than me. The student helpers were always with me though. I feel like if you’re with a student helper, then nothing bad can really happen. Every preschooler should have their own student helper to take care of them.
Our class had a Halloween party. We dressed up and went around to different high school teachers. They gave us candy, and the students were in some of the classrooms. They seemed excited to pass out candy to the little kids.
I’m planning on going to Stagg. I think Stagg’s a very good school. I feel like it has a lot of good qualities. My older brother and sister both go there, and I don’t really hear them complain.
I heard that Stagg’s lunch is pretty good, and they actually have a swimming pool. I’m a swimmer, so I think it’s pretty cool to have a swimming pool at a school. It’s a very nice swimming pool, too; the deck is big and there’s a water fountain in the pool area. I get pretty thirsty while I’m swimming. I think Stagg has a good swim program, so it would be fun to do swimming there. Plus, it’s free. If you do it now without Stagg, it’s like 700 or 800 dollars a season. I’m in a lot of activities like sewing, Girl Scouts, and student council, but swimming is my favorite. I do it every single day except for Saturday, Sunday, and Thursday. I love the summer because I can go swimming whenever I want. I can’t go swimming outside during the winter, but at least I can swim inside if I join a club team like the Hickory Willow Swim Association (HWSA).
When I’m in highschool, I hope I can be a student helper for the kids in Staggasaurus. I think it’s a really cool opportunity if you’re going to be a teacher. I don’t even want to be a teacher because I want to sell ice cream or be a dentist, but it would still be fun! The student helpers really did help me, and I want to be able to help the little kids, too.
--Interviewed By: Kelli Thielmann