‘Heroes & Cool Kids’ mentors

RBRstudent mentors pose with former pro football player Keith Elias.RBRstudent mentors pose with former pro football player Keith Elias. Are the research papers as hard as my teacher says they will be in high school? Will I have time to go to my locker between classes? What is it like being a freshman at Red Bank Regional High School?

These were some of the queries posed by sixth-graders to the mentors who recently visited Shrewsbury Borough School as part of RBR’s “Heroes and Cool Kids” student leadership program.

The student-athlete scholars from RBR did their best to answer the questions and ease students’ apprehension about the big step up to high school.

The visit marked the first of three planned for the RBR Heroes & Cool Kids mentors.

The program taps professional athletes to train high school student leaders in mentoring middle school students on important life skills including sportsmanship, conflict resolution and drug, alcohol and tobacco prevention.

Heroes & Cool Kids club adviser Scott Ferris explained, “The first visit is meant to introduce the high school mentors to their younger students, to get to know them and answer questions about high school. On the second visit we deal with the tougher issues of bullying and good sportsmanship. During visit three we talk about drug and alcohol avoidance.”

Currently 36 RBR student-athletes visit sending schools in Shrewsbury, Little Silver and Red Bank to mentor younger students.

The RBR are trained to facilitate a group of younger students and engage them in discussion.

This year, former New York Giant and Indianapolis Colts player Keith Elias accompanied the RBR group on April 3.

“This program is a great experience for students,” said Ferris. “The younger students get very positive messages on high school life while older students get a feeling for what it is like to work with younger children and be a teacher. Some come away thinking, ‘I might want to do this.’ “