WAHS students help with Easter crafts at St. Joe’s

Warren Area High School students (left) Lance Baldensperger and Julia Lobdell help St. Joseph Catholic School fourth-grader Izzy McMonigal with Easter projects on Thursday.

Students at St. Joseph Catholic School had some extra help making crafts for Easter.

For years, teacher Pam Nasman has invited high school students into elementary classrooms to help out.

On Thursday, nine Warren Area High School students, most of them former students of Nasman’s, helped fourth-graders with their egg and papier-mache projects.

“I like to make the connection with the kids,” Julia Lobdell said. “I like to see the way they interact with everyone and the way that they see the world. They have so much compassion.”

“I like helping and talking to the kids,” Lance Baldensperger said.

Nasman said Baldensperger has talked to her about becoming a teacher because of his high school visits to her classroom. “Lance asks me all the time, ‘What are we doing for the next holiday?'” she said.

“He’s told me that he’s thinking of going into teaching because of this.”

Grace Wortman has been on both sides of the visits.

“When I was in grade school, high schoolers used to come and help us with crafts,” she said. “It was really fun. This is a way to give back — be able to do the same thing and help the kids.”

“I think it makes them happy to have high schoolers helping,” she said.

Izzy McMonigal likes it.

“I like meeting all of them,” she said. “They help out.”

She isn’t upset that the classroom gets louder and more crowded at those times.

Brady Shene likes the visits, too.

“It’s fun,” he said. “You can talk to the older kids and see how they’re learning stuff.”

Still, not every one of the students is a good candidate to come back when they reach high school.

When asked if he would like to come back in a few years, Shene said, “I don’t think so.”

Lyndsey Dippold was helping a particular student — her brother, Kyle. “He just needed my help,” Lyndsey said.

They get along.

“I want to work with her,” Kyle said.

“This day could not happen without the help,” Nasman said. “The parents come in, too.”

Nasman originally had her own sons come into the classroom to help while they were in high school.

“As my students got older, they started coming back,” she said. “It’s a nice connection.”