ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The first day of middle school is a big day for sixth graders. At Eisenhower Middle School in the heights, the eighth graders stepped in to try to make the transition easier.

Cloie Johnson is an eighth grader at Eisenhower Middle School. She was one of 45 eighth graders who were trained to help incoming sixth graders transition to middle school. Johnson was able to meet with the sixth graders on Tuesday to talk about the challenges and help them acclimate to middle school.

“It’s kinda like a safety group for the 6th grades so we can help them around the school and help them get to know friends then the ones they came with,” said Johnson.

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Principal Jonathan Saiz said this had become a tradition at the middle school. They have been doing sixth-grade orientation for the past 15 years. This day was created to help students feel welcome at a new school.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for students to be able to connect with one another on the social and emotional component,” said Saiz. “Knowing that middle school is a safe place, knowing that they’re cared for and that they know somebody is there for them.”

The eighth-grade mentors will be wearing special shirts on Wednesday for the first day of school to answer any questions new students might need to know.