Hundreds of Local Elementary Kids Become Rollins Students for a Day

April 29, 2008

“Pathways to College Day” Plants Seeds by Educating Kids on the Importance of College

Students conduct experimentsOn Tuesday, April 29, more than 200 elementary students from Fern Creek Elementary School in Orlando took a field trip to Rollins College to learn what it’s like to be a college student. During their visit, they attended classes taught by Rollins professors, met with students, had lunch and took a campus tour.

“It is inspiring to watch our faculty work with the Fern Creek children,” said Lord Family Director of Community Engagement Micki Meyer. “This event could never happen if it wasn’t for the dedication, time and talent of Rollins faculty and students.”

More than 90 faculty, staff and student volunteers helped with the event, which is designed to teach young children the importance of planning early for college. This is the fourth year Rollins’ Office of Community Engagement has organized “Pathways to College Day.” However, this is the first year the entire Fern Creek student body had the chance to experience the event.

Rollins students welcome Fern Creek Elementary students to campus.While at Rollins, Fern Creek students participated in a variety of classes, including everything from music and theater to chemistry, Spanish and math.

“This is such a unique event,” Meyer says. “When else do students get the opportunity to teach concepts they have learned in their discipline alongside their professors?”

Some the schedule highlights included:
10 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. – Introductions and “Magic of Science” show by Rollins College President Lewis Duncan
11 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Students attended their own college classes
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Lunch and art on Mills Lawn and campus tour

Olivia Horn teaches dance class.Rollins students also mentor Fern Creek students through a series of lessons on college awareness, goal setting, leadership and service. This effort, which is made possible through a grant from the College For Every Student (CFES) nonprofit organization.

Growth for demand in higher education is expected to continue to increase. According to the Central Florida Higher Education Consortium:
• By 2014, 6.8 million newly created jobs will require at least a bachelor’s degree.
• Over the next 10 years, Florida’s college enrollment could grow by more than 120,000 students.
• During the next 10 years, Florida’s population is projected to grow by 4 million.

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