Bigs and Littles program bridges divide between freshmen, upperclassmen


Pranati Kandi

Coppell theater freshmen mingle as a part of the CHS Bigs and Littles theater program after school in Coppell theater teacher Karen Ruth’s room on Jan. 25. In the Bigs and Littles program, each freshman is assigned either a junior or senior to help them adjust to their first year of theater and help them with their future theater endeavors. Photo by Pranati Kandi

Blanche Harris, Staff Photographer

Since the opening of CHS9, freshmen now face an additional challenge besides entering high school: isolation. The struggle to get to know upperclassmen increases with the school’s location across town. 

Freshmen are transported to CHS for certain class periods such as sports, choir or theater. 

One such program is the Bigs and Littles program in the Coppell theater department. Although Bigs and Littles has been around for years, it becomes increasingly necessary after the usage of the ninth grade campus. Theater assigns its officers one or two freshmen to mentor and develop a connection. The officers attend performances of their assigned freshmen and text them reminders about upcoming activities. The arrangement bolsters the relationships between students and motivates freshmen to stay in theater.

To pair Bigs and Littles, officers and freshmen take a quiz about interests to pair with students with similar interests.

“[CHS junior International Thespian officer Sydney de Leon] and I are interested in the same type of theater,” Take One freshman Trinity Tackett said. “She is a fantastic teacher and friend.” 

From the officers’ perspective, it allows them to grow and get to know the future of the program. 

“It started when I was a freshman and I remember that it felt really cool to have a junior or senior talk to you and text you.” CHS senior drama club vice president Drew Scrivner said. 

Mentoring freshmen creates strong ties in the program and a sense of family across the grades.

“This year the theater program underwent a change in drama club where every other month we have two drama clubs, and the second meeting is at the CHS9 campus,” CHS junior co-historian Zoe Cripe said. “We get a big turnout from CHS9 people and it gives us a chance to hang out with our Littles outside of just our campus.”

In addition to club meetings, the theater department also hosts three to four big events throughout the year where the freshmen can pick what they would like to do. 

On Jan. 24, the theater department hosted a Bigs and Littles movie event. All of the theater officers and most of the freshmen came to watch the musical comedy Sing in the CHS Black Box. The event started with improv games and transitioned into eating pizza while enjoying the film together. 

“I love this program because a lot of times when freshmen are in theater, they are just doing it for the arts credit, but then if they see where someone else has gone with it, like a Big, it makes them want to explore the stage and express themselves through theater.” Tackett said. 

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