Pinkerton Academy and Little Students (PALS)
Pinkerton Academy and Little Students or PALS began in the early 90s. Gina Hutchinson (Derry School District) and Linda DeCosta (Pinkerton Academy) developed the program.
PALS is a club that pairs Derry elementary school students with a Pinkerton high school mentor. Once a month, the Pinkerton Academy students travel to their assigned elementary school to meet with their little buddy and build a positive relationship.
The older kids act as positive role models to their little buddies. In PALS, the big buddies and little buddies learn from each other. Both groups build relationships through fun and friendly interactions that carry into the future.
Currently, Pinkerton teachers Mrs. Crowley, Ms. Doherty, and Ms. Iacuzio, oversee the program. There is an application process for the high school students to join, including two references. Students must make a commitment to the club and to their elementary school little buddies.
Commitment and Responsibility are key components in being part of PALS! The little buddies look forward to seeing their big buddies and we ask our members to be considerate of this and commit to our monthly meetings.
In the elementary school students qualify through teacher, staff and parent referrals. Selection of students from the elementary school is based on the needs of individual students.
Students love their monthly PALS meeting. There’s a lot to love for the younger students, who get the role models and older siblings they might not have; and for the older ones, who gain college application credits and an understanding of where they were not too long ago.