A few weeks ago, my fellow Breakthrough teacher, Alix, came up with the idea of having a college fair for the students. I offered to plan it with her, and we had the event yesterday instead of our usual advisory. We ended up calling it Future Education Day to include some high schools in the event. I wasn’t really sure what to expect–I thought the kids would be kind of bored and wouldn’t really know what to ask the teachers about their colleges. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I couldn’t stop smiling during the whole event. All of the teachers were amazing, making posters and printing out pictures of their schools. We all stood around the edge of the gym next to a sign that said the name of each school. The kids all walked around and asked the most intelligent questions ever! They were all so excited to learn about college and asked a million questions about our schools. Some of the students even came up with the idea of taking detailed notes.
After the event, we had All School Meeting, but I got there late because I was helping to clean up the gym. As I walked in, I noticed that Christine, our director, was asking the kids to share interesting things they had learned about colleges with the whole school. I realized that one of the students was in the middle of recounting the story of Jumbo, the mascot of Tufts (where I just graduated from). It made me so happy to know that the story I had told her actually stuck with her. She told me later that Tufts was her first choice school. When one student’s dad came to pick him up, the student excitedly said, “Dad! I know which college I want to go to! I want to go to Wesleyan!” His dad asked him why and the student said, “I’ll tell you all about it in the car.” It was so cute. Almost all of the kids had some interesting college fact to share, as well as a list of their top four or five colleges.
Basically, the whole thing went a million times better than I ever could have imagined. The students at our Breakthrough site are younger than most–they’re going into 5th and 6th grade. But even though they still have 6 or 7 years before they even apply to college, just seeing the students get so excited about it was incredible. They’re interested in the most random things, from how many cafeterias a college has to the size of the school’s swimming pool, but the most important thing is that college is on their mind. I’m sure their lists of favorite colleges will change dramatically in the next few years, but that’s not what’s important. The meaningful part of Future Education Day was that the kids were enthusiastic about their own education. I really can’t express how happy it made me to see the joy on their faces when they learned about all the opportunities that will be available to them. I’ve always known that they can all make it to college, but seeing their excitement makes me realize that they all WILL make it there.
|SFDay-Future Education Day|