WEB student leaders at Blendon connect during Spring Play Day

Photo and portions of this story from the Westerville City School District

Incoming student leaders in the Where Everybody Belongs (WEB) program at Blendon Middle School got their first taste of training just days before the end of the school year.

As part of Spring Play Day, students connected with each other through team-building and ice-breaker activities — the same games they will manage when they welcome next year’s sixth-graders to school in the fall.

The WEB program is a year-long transition initiative to welcome sixth-graders to middle school. All five Westerville middle schools hosted Spring Play Day events in May.

WEC’s involvement with WEB

WEB is a middle school transition program created by the Boomerang Project and implemented by Westerville City Schools. WEC provides financial, material and logistical support.

The goal of WEB is to welcome 6th-graders at Blendon, Genoa, Heritage, Walnut Springs and the new Minerva Park middle schools, to make them feel comfortable throughout the first year of their middle school experience.

Eighth-grade WEB Leaders are trained to act as positive role models, motivators, leaders and teachers. They help guide the 6th-graders to discover what it takes to be successful in middle school.

Schools that utilize the program have reported that WEB has helped reduce bullying and discipline issues, as well as increased student safety and connection for the whole school.

Hope Squad coming to middle schools this fall

WEB is not the only Westerville middle school initiative backed by Westerville Education Challenge!

WEC is working to expand the powerful Hope Squad program to the middle schoos this fall, for the 2024-25 school year.

Hope Squad, a widely acclaimed, student-led suicide prevention program, was established in Westerville through a WEC-led initiative in 2021. It now operates in all three Westerville high schools.

Extending the Hope Squad program to district middle schools is expected to cost $45,000 a year. WEC is fundraising to help pay the costs.

Please consider a donation to help this effort, using the form below. Thank you!