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Liberty JS2S welcomes new students

Tasty ice cream 'broke the ice' for new students and the Junior Student 2 Student (JS2S) group at Liberty Middle School. CONTRIBUTED
Tasty ice cream ‘broke the ice’ for new students and the Junior Student 2 Student (JS2S) group at Liberty Middle School. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – A delicious bowl of ice cream can ‘break the ice’ for conversation, even for young teenagers.

Junior Student 2 Students (JS2S) members at Liberty Middle School often treat new and transferring students to ice cream. The cool treat relieves the jitters for the new kids on campus, parent volunteer Molly King said.

JS2S for grades 7-8 and S2S (Student 2 Student) for grades 9-12 respond to critical needs for transitioning students, both civilian and military.

The groups welcome incoming students to their new school and help departing students prepare for their next school, Cindy Davis said. Davis is District At-Risk Counselor for Madison City Schools.

In 2004, the Military Child Education Coalition established S2S and now provides trainers and materials to area schools. Mike Kersjes works as Military Student Transition Consultant for Huntsville city, Madison city and Madison County schools and helps organize the programs.

Liberty School Nurse Benita Tunstill sponsors JS2S. “I love my kids, and I couldn’t ask for a better group. They are very active and go to Tut Fann Veterans Home each month and play bingo with the veterans,” Tunstill said.

“JS2S do activities at school for new kids and military kids and lots of community service. This year, they sponsored a giving tree and bought Christmas gifts for 18 Liberty students. We’re like a family and take care of our own,” Tunstill said.

Chris Baker was in eighth grade at Liberty last school year. As a military child, he has moved numerous times, most recently from Nebraska to Madison. Baker participates in both JS2S and as a guest at events for military children because he “believes in the program and wants to support it.”

“I know personally JS2S really helps to have a friendly face to look forward to seeing in the hallway, even if for just a split-second between classes,” Baker said. “I wish I had this program (earlier) because when I moved a lot when I was younger, and I was a little shy and quirky. Even if the program was just half as good as JS2S at Liberty, it would have helped me tremendously.”

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