NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Kindergarten students share a school building with high school students in Antioch as they wait for a new elementary school to open, leading to an unlikely relationship.

It’s been a wake-up call to be on their best behavior. That’s how high school students from Intrepid College Prep describe the experience of having 5 and 6-year-olds watch their every move.

They’re having a year-end field day together on Wednesday.

Hanone Luak, a sophomore at Intrepid, has formed a special bond with the kindergartners and found a love of children.

“Little kids do copy what they see older kids do because they tend to think it’s OK,” Luak said.

She said some kids in her high school used to be reckless, not thinking about their actions.

Since the kindergarten students arrived, there’s been a newfound joy in the building.

“Ever since the kindergartners were there, everyone was smiling more and we’ve learned to be much more mature,” Luak said.

Kenisha Hawthrorne, assistant principal at Kipp Antioch College Prep, saw the shared building between her kindergartners and high school students as the perfect opportunity for change.

“Often times kids who have had behavior issues want to do the right thing in front of 5 and 6-year-olds because they want to be a leader,” said Hawthorne.

She said many high school students have come to her and thanked her for bringing the little kids into their lives. Some have even asked how they can become a teacher.

“Every child has that in them. It’s our responsibility as teacher to make sure we tap into what that is for them,” Hawthorne said.

Even though Kipp Antioch College Prep’s new building will be open in the fall, there is a desire on both sides to continue the relationship.

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Lindsey Nance joined the News4 team in June 2018. She currently covers the education beat for News4.

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