Program created to ease the transition to high school

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LODI, Wis. “For so long we’ve sort of had the attitude that ‘well I suffered as a freshmen so all freshmen shall suffer’ and just doesn’t have to be that way," Carrie Kerska, English teacher and Link Crew Coordinator, said.

Before the entire school comes back, just the incoming class comes to the high school.

“We were up in the stands at first and did some weird activities that were welcoming and got you loose and your energy up,” Logan Richards, Senior Link Leader, said.

That is how freshmen spend the first part of their day, after Richards said, "Then you paired off in groups and you had two link leaders in each group and they showed you around the school and did a bunch of activities with you to make you feel welcome.”

UW Health Anxiety and Disorder Director, Marcia Slattery said the most common anxieties she sees are in kids who are transitioning from elementary to middle or middle to high school.

Lodi High School is trying to eliminate the anxieties high school can create in kids. After they get to know their new surroundings, practice their locker combinations, find their classes it's time to get to know their new family. The students end the day watching a special 'Lodi Pride' video. This is the sixth year for the video.

“We’re not so divided, we’re all in this together, we’re all trying to put one foot in front of the other and make it through each day, each week or month or quarter or year so it’s not an us verse them mentality,” Kerska said.

If your school does not have a program like the 'Link Program,' Dr. Slattery suggests taking your freshmen student to the school and do a dress rehearsal. "Have them find their locker, do their combination and go to class. When kids have a working model in their brains of what to expect that decreases their anxiety," Dr. Slattery said.

To learn more about the 'Link Program' click here.