The DL On MS

Entering a new school can be nerve-wracking for anyone.

Last year, as new Bedford Middle School 6th graders, Peri and Brooke Kessler asked older kids they didn’t even know for help with their lockers.

Now, as bigger, wiser 7th graders, the twins are eager to help the next crop of nervous new students.

Tomorrow — immediately after the regular orientation — Peri and Brooke are providing their own version. They’ll give a seminar at their house, “informing incoming 6th graders how to prepare and what to expect” at Bedford.

Bedford Middle School: a step up for 6th graders.

They’ll cover what supplies you really need; how to handle tests and quizzes, and what kind of homework you get in each class.

But they’ll also give social tips, like how to handle the cafeteria. “That’s a big social area,” they note.

They’ll also tell the 6th graders not to spend all their time on their phones. “You have to read and study,” they say.

The big difference between elementary and middle school is new responsibility. “You have to handle your time better,” they explain. “It really helps to be organized.”

All this info does not come free. The girls are charging $10 per student. (Parents are free).

They’ll donate a portion of the proceeds to Save the Children.

Which makes sense. After all, Peri and Brooke are trying to help kids too.

(For more information or to register, email, or call 917-612-3888.)

48 responses to “The DL On MS

  1. Reading this article I thought, how nice these kids are giving advice to younger children. Then I read they were charging for their advice…how sad, how Westport of them.
    I wonder if the kids that helped them when they were 6th graders charged them? Are we supposed to think they’re suh great kids because they’re giving “some” of the money to charity? Or are we supposed to think they’re great kids because they figured out how to make a buck?
    If advice is charged for shouldn’t the persons charging have some type of advanced degree and license? Wouldn’t it be more charitable to give their advice freely to others?
    So sad.

    • No one is being forced to pay for the services. The market will determine their revenues. Do you have a problem with that?

      • Sam "The horse" Hungler

        Oh how clichéd can you get? ”The market will determine their revenues.” So the kids that don\’t have the ten bucks miss out? I am a big fan a free markets – love ’em – keeps people on their toes. But to assume that markets can take care of themselves is ignoring other essential institutions.

        • If you don’t want the sevices you do not need to pay for them. Markets function quite well and transaction are voluntary. The government, on the other hand, mandates payments for services you may or may not want.

    • I agree with you, it is very sad. Great, life-long friendships were started when older kids in the neighborhood voluntarily showed the younger kids how to navigate the school. I certainly hope that no parent advocates their own child paying for that kind of, at least historically, genuinely friendly guidance. But, ‘Anonymous’ is right, the market will judge,

    • I don’t however agree that this is in any way characteristic of ‘Westport’. It’s not at all familiar to the Westport that I know. Not at all.

    • This country was built on the back of capitalism, and man or for that matter woman’s desire and ability to make a better life for herself. You would not have this wonderful yet cushy town if not for the pursuits of raw and even benign capitalism in past generations; nor would you be able to afford to live here if not for your husband selling his services or products for profit – and I am assuming that if you did work, you would appreciate their efforts and not snipe at them. Have your children taken SAT prep courses? Is it OK for Princeton Review or Stanley Kaplan to profit from that? What percentage of their revenues do they give to charity? These young ladies have the right to test the market and see what it will bear – and do so without random moms anonymously posting nasty comments that are virtually guaranteed to get back to them. “C” – who are you and please give us your name and please let us know what you recommend children do with the last few weeks of their summer?!!!!

      • your not helping if you make people pay, bedford helps kids alot and there will be 7th and 8th graders at bedfordd that same day telling students the same advice or even better for FREE.

    • Sounds like yet another Bar/Bat Mitzvah project !!!

  2. I totally disagree with the response above. These girls thought of a fantastic way to help rising 6th graders and, in the mean time, send some money to charity. Do you think children opening a lemonade stand are simply “so Westport” ? Come on!! I can’t imagine anything nicer than two young, bright girls thinking of a way to give some money to charity, offer some help to younger students, and still keep a couple of dollars to buy an ice cream or a t-shirt. Come on!!! Crush a 12 year old’s dream? That’s just silly.

    • your “just silly”. Sorry to crush YOUR dream but
      1. bedford 7th and 8th graders will be at school helping students that same day
      2. how much mony will they give to charity?
      3. their parents can get them ice-cream

  3. How Westport??? It would be more “Westport” to just EXPECT the money from your parents and feel you DIDN’T have to work for it! The anonymous ‘C” above has it all wrong. Go Girls, Go!!

    • i agree with the first sentence but dont make other parents pay for somthing you planned in 5 minutes.

  4. I agree with “C” –no problem with their creativity, desire to help other kids, have a nice playdate, just much more blogworthy if they were donating all the money to charity…c’mon — no one outside of Westport would even pay for this service… (And like politicians they don’t even say what % goes to charity)

  5. westport mom

    oh please- if 20 kids attend and they earn $200 at least they have tried something rather than sitting back and waiting for their allowance. Kudos to these girls for thinking and trying something new. With a milkshake at the diner costing $5, is $10 for charity or not so offensive to anyone??

  6. I wonder how much they were charged by the older kids who helped them with their lockers last year.

  7. Life-long Westporter

    I totally agee with C! This is disgusting and so typical of everything that is wrong in society, and especially in Westport. Instead of doing something because it is nice and charitable, all I see is children looking to see what they can get out of a situation. (And I am not an old out-of-touch crab – I have four children, both in, and recently graduated from, the Westport school system). Kids go on expensive summer trips couched as meaningful “volunteer” work only so they can put it on a college application, they do good deads only so they can move on in their religious paths, they help other kids only so they can make a buck. Shame on them and their parents. These same kids grow up to be the adults we see more and more often in rich towns like Westport – self-centered, greedy and shallow. YUCK!

  8. Give it a rest.

  9. Westport Convert

    I think it’s incredibly brilliant and entrepreneurial of the young girls. Who cares if they do it for free, charge $10.00, or charge $100.00? If there is a demand for it, there will be a market for it. That’s called capitalism.

    I’m surprised that those on here crying foul are completely silent when the issue of money and costs comes to the exorbitant salaries of our town officials, school administrators, and various taxes — all because we are in Westport. Give ME a break!!!

    Good luck, girls. I hope it’s a success.


    • theres no demand for it they do the same thing for 6th graders w/ 7th and 8th grades helping out for FREE

  10. I love it when posters say outrageous stuff just to poke the pigs 🙂

    Money is energy and magnetic. If you pay for something it has perceived value and the learning curve rises. If you get paid for something, the performance curve rises. These gals have the perfect business model…high perceived value, low price. Everybody wins.

    GO GIRLS !

  11. I grew up in Westport, and these girls are a refreshing reminder of what it used to be like here. I remember the days when kids actually worked for money rather than having it handed to them on their way out the door. For goodness sake, at their age I had lemonade stands, newspaper routes, babysat, and I tutored younger school mates with homework. And no, I did not do it for free! I learned the value of a good work ethic and the feeling of making my own spending money, and those values stay with me today. The only thing that these girls are doing differently from when I grew up is giving a portion to charity. We used to spend it all on candy and movies.

  12. Life-long Westporter

    It’s one thing to call it a business and it’s another thing to make it sound like an act of kindness. Yes, capitalism is all about making money, so let’s call this a shrewder lemonade stand and not act like these girls are doing a good deed.

    • Westport Convert

      Would rather they KEEP all of the money? Or at least give a portion to charity? With the generation of selfish, self-entitled children we are raising these days, I’m happy they made the decision to donation a portion of the proceeds.

      What about all of the other public events (concerts, dinners, etc.) that state they are “donating a portion of the proceeds to _____”? Are you offended by those shrewd ventures?

      I do not know who said the girls are doing a good dead. They are taking advantage of some kind of need in the community, based on the market. It’s supply and demand 101.


  13. Westport Convert

    *good deed

  14. Life-long Westporter

    My point is that it is sad to see young people doing nice things only if they get something in return. It is even sadder that there is actually a market for this information. It’s pathetic that people will pay for these “tips.”

    • Westport Convert

      We could argue semantics all day but even when children do something for “charity” they are, technically, getting something in return. You’d be naive to believe otherwise.

      Also, I don’t really know that it’s sad there is a market for this. Have you ever seen those ridiculous infomercials for the most asinine products? Clearly, there is some type of market for it. Who are we to judge the demand for it?


  15. Maybe the real definition of “so Westport” is a bunch of miserable, anonymous posters sitting around in their pajamas in the middle of the day lording judgements over other people who are actually doing something constructive with their time. Lay off. They are children.

  16. I can see both sides but ultimately, it IS capitalism and they ARE donating a percentage to charity. I know who these girls are through my own children and they are good kids (not to mention talented).

    As an aside – I have a child going into 6th grade at Bedford and as I was reading the article I was thinking ‘Hey, good idea maybe I’ll tell my kid about this’. However when I saw they were charging for it, I thought differently. Its a nice service but I guess not something I’d pay for.

  17. Life-long Westporter

    Actually, I’m a corporate lawyer sitting at my desk in NYC writing a brief and taking a break by checking out Dan’s site. What are you doing today Darcy?

    • Ooh, you ARE a Life-long Westporter. Go back to your brief.

      • Is there anything less credible than a lawyer who decries greed ? The students need to charge for their services so they can afford insurance to protect them against lawsuits brought by fellow students who are unsatisfied with the advice given. There is nothing more Westport than suing your neighbor.

    • highschoolkid

      My little brother went to this program and loved it, so I decided to check out this article. I find it funny that you can so easily degrade middle school girls for doing something helpful for the community. I was struck by the irony of the fact that you see these girls as “self-centered, greedy and shallow,” as you undoubtedly charge your unknowing clients while you are looking at blogs. Also, I find it a bit creepy that a grown man/woman is willing to smear the reputations of two twelve-year-old girls. You should really start spending your time and energy on bigger issues. Good day, sir!

  18. My daughter was a 6th grader at Bedford last year and the “upperclassman”, teachers and administrators made the transition seamless – The building of community that starts in elementary school carries on- yes kids can be mean but, they can be really nice and wonderful too!
    As for Brook and Peri – whatever! I don’t imagine they will ask for some payola in the hallways of BMS.

  19. Seems worthless and overpriced. You’ll learn it all by just going to the first days of school!

  20. Life-long Westporter

    Exactly! Or asking some nice kid in the hall who wont charge you for it!

  21. I just spoke to the mother of these girls because I am concerned they will hear about some of these mean comments. In that conversation, I learned that the idea for payment came from parents of their friends, who felt uncomfortable NOT paying for their time. The girls apparently spent their own money on making handouts, and put a lot of time into this presentation. They agreed to charge money for it but immediately decided to use some of it for charity, which is typical of these girls (at their birthday party they accepted donations to Norwalk Children’s Hospital in lieu of birthday gifts). Maybe it would be nice to take these comments down and protect these girls from potentially hurtful banter.

  22. Friend–many thanks for the additional info. It certainly helps provide a more complete picture here.

  23. Life-long Westporter

    Maybe the mother shouldn’t have agreed to advertise this on Dan’s site (including her email address) in the first place. But I agree, enough said.

  24. Good on those girls for being resourceful, that’s what entrepreneurialism is all about! I hope they have tons of kids and parents show up, and anything where kids are helping kids is all good in my book!

  25. As a mom with children this age I say, “good for them”. They saw a need and created a business plan to fill it. This entrepreneurial spirit will take them far. Our children aren’t going to go work for some corporation for 40 years and retire with a nice pension. They will need to create their own successes and starting young is the way to do it. If you think it’s worthless, then don’t pay for it. They’ll learn what the market will bear and either succeed or move on to their next great idea.

  26. Don Willmott

    Medicare!!! I don’t know…just thought I’d toss it into the mix.

  27. westport mom

    These are 13 year old children. To call them disgusting is just rude and uncalled for. If you have an issue, why not find a more appropriate avenue

  28. I think there is a different issue here. How do we know that the 6th grade orientation is going to be deficient in the first place? As I understand it, this orientation is on the school calendar for the first time this year and it may tell the incoming 6th graders exactly what they need to know. To schedule it straight afterwards undermines the incoming principal’s efforts to make it an informative session.

  29. The Objective Observer

    First off, kudos to Dan Woog for writing such an unbiased and thought provoking article. The tangents some of you are going off on are undeniably unnecessarry and repulsively subjective. Perception of what these girls are doing should not be judged by morality, because since using a computer to post on this blog proves that you are as much a consumer as anybody. If we consider such items as wifi modems, routers, an computers socially acceptable, why is it then not acceptable to pay for someone to pay for information? Nobody can judge the price of information, but taxpayers pay much more than $10 to send their children to school, so if children yearn for further knowledge, and they make the decision that it is worth $10 to attain it, none of us have the right to fault them. If you dont allow your personal convictions and beliefs to cloud your judgement, this article becomes much less controversial and by no means a fulcrum to insult middle school girls.

    Thank you for your time, and I hope this helps you observe the objective decision.

  30. Dan, you’re the man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!