Elon COR110 students host local elementary school children
Students from Mark Enfield’s COR110 class hosted fifth-grade students from a local elementary school for a day at Elon.
Students from in COR110 class taught by Associate Professor of Education Mark Enfield hosted local fifth-grade students for a visit to Elon on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017.
The first-year COR110 students had visited two fifth-grade classes throughout the fall as a service-learning experience. Enfield designed the experience to connect with the common reading, "Make your home among strangers." Enfield wanted Elon students to have first-hand experiences that would provide some context to lives of potential first-generation college students.
The elementary school these children came from focuses on leadership and college preparedness. Therefore, partnering with the school offered Elon students opportunities to meet potential first-generation college students and it offered the elementary children an opportunity to meet current college students.
About every other week throughout the semester, Elon students traveled to the elementary school to meet the children during lunch when the would talk about their lives and share about experiences at college. Each week, the fifth-graders eagerly awaited the arrival of the Elon students.
Following each visit, the Elon students discussed their observations and experiences in class, drawing on those experiences to write informally and formally making connections to their course readings. Toward the end of the visits, students and teachers began talking about having the fifth-graders come to Elon to visit the campus.
On the day of their visit, the fifth-graders arrived on Elon's campus at 9:30 a.m. Several dressed professionally, demonstrating their pride and enthusiasm about the visit.
Approximately 90 students along with teachers, teachers’ assistants, and bus drivers settled into the LaRose Digital Theatre for an orientation and opening session. Enfield welcomed the students and gave a quick overview of the day as well as about college education.
The students headed out on a self-guided tour of campus following a scavenger hunt designed by Admissions Office. After their tour, fifth-graders heard from Amy Johnson, director of the Elon Core Curriculum, and Terrry Tomasek, director of Elon Academy.
Following this, Enfield led the students in a brief activity about dissolving and states of matter. Finally, the highlight of the day was having lunch at Colonnades Dining Hall with the Elon students they had been meeting all year. The fifth-graders were so excited to eat in a college cafeteria.
The visitwas supported with logistical help from the Elon Core Curriculum, generous support from a Kernoodle Community Partnership Initiative Grant, and planning and organization by Enfield’s COR110 class. At the end of the visit, Enfield asked, "what was the best part of the day?" The response from one fifth-grader? "Everything!"