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Falcons forge new friendships at Hidden Forest

 A group of Falcon Friends at Hidden Forest

There’s a Falcon Friend in every classroom at Hidden Forest Elementary School. 

If you’re a new student on campus, that means you have a go-to tour guide and instant friend to introduce you to your new school. Third grader Mlak Awad remembers what it’s like to be the “new kid” at school. This makes her the perfect resident Falcon Friend in her classroom. 

“I was a new student in second grade last year and there was no Falcon 2 Falcon so my teacher had to show me where my room was,” said Mlak. “I like to make everyone feel comfortable and welcome. We show them around the school, give them a tour and tell them all the important stuff. We play with them at recess and sit with them at lunch so they don’t feel left out.” 

The Falcon Friend initiative is part of the new Student 2 Student program on campus. As of this year, every campus in the District has a program that brings military and civilian students together to welcome new students and ease the transition of being the “new kid” at school. Hidden Forest has adapted Student 2 Student into Falcon 2 Falcon – giving every new student an instant friend to support them on their first day of school and beyond. 

In just a few months, Falcon Friend sponsors Sarah Ojeda, counselor, Amy Freedman, librarian, and Amy Dodge, third grade teacher, have seen promising results across every grade level. 

“We’ve had several new students already say they have been able to make friends really quickly,” said Ojeda. “Even some of our Falcon Friends have said they’ve noticed they are making new friends really fast and sort of expanding their friend groups.” 

Programs like Student 2 Student allow the District to reach the full 10% of students who are connected with a military member. It also ensures that every child feels like they belong as soon as they step foot on campus. 

Student 2 Student is one of the many services we offer our military families. Visit to learn more. 

Posted by Lila Stanley
Posted on 12-15-21