TUSTIN — They show up periodically at schools throughout the Pine River School District, and to watch the elementary school children interact with the teens, you know they look up to them as superheroes.

They are. These teens are members of the Pine River High School National Honor Society and the Pine River Middle School NJHS. The fact that they have a high grade point average in order to be part of the NHS or NJHS doesn’t rank right up there when it comes to fitting into a superhero category.

What does is the fact that some are really tall. One little boy pointed to one high school youth and said, “I watch him at basketball games and boy, is he a good basketball player. I’m gonna be just like him some day.”

Another is impressed that his NHS superhero can “really read really big words! He’s going to help me do it too!” Still another knows her new friend, the super heroine, “is going to make me learn my math so I can be just like her!”

Still another learned to make snow art on the back wall of the school building with a group of other kids gathering up what little snow there was to do so. They not only followed her suggestions, when she walked away to get more snow, they followed her and imitated how she walked.

So it was one day last week when the NHS and NJHS superheroes came to visit. There was plenty of action on the basketball court, snow and all, and then it was back to more studies.

Not only do the youngsters look forward to having the honor students come to tutor, play games, be a part of their lives, but they also find that nearness in age a benefit in their learning, according to one teacher. They see some of the kids in area stores, at football or basketball games, at church or at various other activities in the area, and they remember them.

“I’ll always remember him,” one little boy said. “He told me I’m a good drawer. I’m going to keep doing that so I can make him a gift some day.” And with that, he turned his head back toward the paper and added a few more lines to the piece of paper. The drawing? A new superhero in a little boy’s life. At least on his piece of paper for now.