“First Grade @ College” Event Offers Glimpse into College Life
On Saturday, March 19, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education hosted first grade students from the Rochester City School District on campus for the "First Grade @ College" event, giving them an opportunity to learn more about the potential for high education.
A total of 100 first graders and family members attended the event, and the students started the day off with a reading of Stone Soup. They then participated in a series of "Fun Shops" - 15 different information centers where they learned about different aspects of community cooperation. The lessons and activities were designed by Fisher graduate education students. While the first graders were busy learning, their parents attended an information session and workshop about planning to send their children to college.
According to one graduate student, the day was "a perfect way to make our lesson plans authentic and meaningful. We 'learned by doing' the way the School of Education intends for us to do."
Over a dozen other Fisher teacher candidate volunteers also helped the day run smoothly. In addition, student leaders from School No. 16, all in sixth and seventh grade, participated as mentors to the first graders and served as great role models throughout the event.
Music even played a role in the event! For the past three years, the Southwest Area Neighborhood Band (SWAN), led by Nate Rawls, has participated free of charge. The band includes over two dozen musicians ranging in age from pre-teens to senior citizens from across the Rochester community.
" 'First Grade @ College' builds upon the foundation that it takes a village to raise a child by providing specific examples showing how a village does the raising," said Dr. Jim Wood, associate professor of Childhood Education. "Our theme this year was 'Don't Be the Missing Piece of the Puzzle,' meaning no one can afford to be left out for the puzzle to be whole in building a child's healthy mind and body."
Parents completed evaluation forms at the end of the event and some of their feedback included:
"Your panel line-up was excellent, informative and helpful. I was moved and inspired to be better and do better...for my children and my ancestors."
"My child is a very happy 1st grader at school #23 who continues to learn and grow in leaps and bounds! He was up early today, so excited to be going to college. Thank you!"
"It was appreciated. As a parent, I recognize that it takes a strong support system to be successful and I like the fact that it was driven home today."
The “First Grade @ College” program is made possible through the cooperation of: the Childhood Education Department of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education; the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Programs at Fisher; and the Rochester City School District.