The Heroes and Cool Kids Club

Samantha Zakrzewski

Do you want to inspire middle schoolers to make the right choices? Miss class time? Join a club that looks good on a college application? Better yourself as a person? If you said yes to any of these questions, then Heroes and Cool Kids is the perfect club for you.

Overview of the Club

    Heroes and Cool Kids is a club that focuses on teaching sixth graders how to make the right choices. We go to the both Christopher Columbus and Woodrow Wilson Middle Schools, where we meet with the sixth graders. From there, we become acquainted with them, play games with them and speak to them about serious issues.

Our First Trip- Visit Bergen County Community College

    Before we visit the sixth graders, we learn what to say to them. The Heroes and Cool Kids members go to Bergen County Community College where we meet with a variety of trainers- basketball players, coaches, police officers, etc. We also meet with fellow Heroes and Cool Kids members from different schools in the area. The trainers provide us with a booklet, which explains the various activities we will be doing with the sixth graders. The trainers go over everything in the booklet and tell us additional information that may help us. They are very enthusiastic and they teach you a lot about the program.

Our Second Trip- Visit From One of the Trainers

    About two or three weeks after our first meeting at Bergen County Community College, we meet again with one of the trainers from the meeting, but this time in Clifton High School. They basically sum up what was discussed at the first meeting and highlight the main points. Usually a day or two after this, it’s time to meet with the sixth graders.

Third Visit- Meeting With the Sixth Graders

If you’re not someone who likes public speaking, don’t fret. Although its intimidating at first, you eventually become comfortable with speaking to the sixth graders. One of the many things that we are told by the trainers is that the sixth graders look up to us because we’re high schoolers.

The Heroes and Cool Kids club allows you to miss class time and it isn’t an after school commitment. We meet a grand total of nine times during school hours- we go to Bergen County Community College, meet in the high school, and travel to the middle schools.  If you’re worried about missing nine consecutive days of school, don’t be- our visits are spread out across the school year. There’s usually a month or two in between each visit to the middle schools.

Although we get to play games with the sixth graders and answer their questions, keep in mind that the conversations we have with them gradually become serious. Our first visit to the middle school is meant for us to become acquainted with the students. For the second visit, we move onto bullying. The final visit is the most serious of them all- substance abuse. These topics may seem scary to talk about with sixth graders, but it’s not as bad as you think. The trainers at the meetings tell us exactly what to say and how to handle the discussions.

Besides looking good on a college application and getting to miss class time, Heroes and Cool Kids will change you in a positive way. You learn a lot about yourself and others around you through this program. As for the trainers, they are very inspiring and they share meaningful stories that change the way you think about things. So hesitate no more and join Heroes and Cool Kids!