The transition from 5th grade to middle school can be traumatic for students, so two groups are getting together to help make things a bit easier.

Graduation Matters Missoula and the National Coalition Building Institute are conducting workshops to help them build positive attributes which may ease the stress that they experience when transitioning from elementary to middle school and beyond.

NCBI Director of Youth Programs Heidi Wallace says the workshops are being funded with a $3,600 grant to Graduation Matters Missoula from the Montana Office of Public Instruction.

Studies show that students in transition from elementary to middle school and middle to high school often experience anxiety when moving into a new school, meeting new students and learning a new class schedule. Positive youth development focuses on building positive attributes and developing resilience that help students successfully navigate these transitions. Specifically, the goals of the workshops are to increase resiliency in 5th graders and build a positive school culture; create increased engagement in school; empower youth to build safer and more inclusive learning environments; and support middle school transition, increased graduation rates, and academic success.

NCBI Director of youth programs Heidi Wallace