Ingrid is sewing a plush fleece doll/monster. Not for Adrian, this time, believe it or not! She’s sewing the plushy for her sponsor child.

At her school they have a “sponsor” system where kids in 3rd grade take care of newcomers in grade 0. In Swedish it’s called being a fadder, which can also mean godfather/godmother, but I suppose sponsor works better in English.

Basically each older child is assigned a younger child to take care of and be friendly to. Occasionally there are arranged “sponsor” meetups when the whole class gets together with the other class, the older ones read books to the younger ones and they play together etc. Outside of those meetups the sponsors are just an extra friendly older student.

Ingrid still has strong memories of her sponsor and I remember how cool she thought it was to be noticed by a 3rd grader. It’s a nice way to help the newcomers feel welcome, to show them that the older kids are not scary, and to give the older ones some extra responsibility.