St. Margaret’s Expands ‘Digital Mentor’ Program for Middle School Technology-Use Education 

St. Margaret’s Middle School students are learning valuable lessons in digital citizenship and responsibly navigating technology from those who perhaps best understand the world they are experiencing—fellow Tartans. 
This year, St. Margaret’s expanded its “digital mentors” program, where Upper School Peer Counselors lead digital health and well-being lessons designed for Middle School students. This year, the program has expanded with 27 Upper School students—one for each Middle School advisory—leading lessons created by The Social Institute, St. Margaret’s partner in technology-use education. 
The Peer Counselors, current sophomores, juniors and seniors in the Upper School, will lead seven lessons this year during grade 6, grade 7 and grade 8 advisories, touching on topics such as responsible online use, positively portraying one’s self on social media, supporting peers online and protecting privacy. 
Through this arrangement, each Peer Counselor will be designated in one Middle School Advisory for all seven lessons, where they will build relationships with their younger peers as they lead important discussions throughout the school year. 
The Social Institute has partnerships with schools across the country, but in most cases, lessons are taught by teachers. St. Margaret’s learned that having lessons such as these led by older students—in this case Peer Counselors who are carefully selected and trained by professional to serve as active listeners capable of navigating different topics—brings added benefits.
“More and more schools are finding that having a mentor relationship and students teaching students is more effective and meaningful,” said Angela Mackenzie, St. Margaret’s director of educational technology. “We have had several schools reach out to learn about the digital mentor program here at St. Margaret’s.”
St. Margaret’s is now in its fourth year partnering with The Social Institute, a schoolwide health-and-wellness initiative aimed to empower students to champion high character online, strike a healthy balance, and show students how social media can be used to positively portray one’s self, reinforce leadership strengths and make the world a better place.
An independent preschool through grade 12 college-preparatory day school in Orange County, California
St. Margaret's Episcopal School does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, sexual orientation or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational, admission, financial aid, hiring and athletic policies or in other school-administered programs.
St. Margaret’s Episcopal School
31641 La Novia Avenue
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
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