Kindergarteners, Fourth Graders to Experience College Life at Southeast

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

April 19, 2010 – Kindergarteners and fourth graders from Jefferson Elementary School will have the chance to experience “college” life for a day when they visit the Southeast Missouri State University campus today, April 19.

The Southeast chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, an education honor society, is hosting the event called Literacy Alive for the fifth year.  The kindergarteners fourth grade “buddies,” also from Jefferson School and who serve as mentors and peer tutors to them, also will participate in the event as part of this tradition. 

“Jefferson Elementary and Kappa Delta Pi are working to expand the visions of the children” said Dr. Sharon Gunn, Kappa Delta Pi chapter counselor and assistant professor of elementary, early and special education at Southeast. “The activities and experiences give the kindergarten and fourth grade students experiences connecting them with college through this day of fun and learning.”

The visit also will stress the importance of literacy and its connection to their education.

The kindergarteners will be introduced to the concept of college and some possible careers they could pursue with a college degree. This group of fourth graders will be returning to build a stronger connection and develop a higher level of understanding of college, such as scholarships and career opportunities, especially in the sciences.

The children’s day will begin with a tour of different locations on the Southeast campus.  The children and teachers will then eat sack lunches in the University Center and meet Rowdy the Redhawk.  After that, Eric Redinger from the Student Recreation Center will talk with them.  Following that event, they will break into groups to participate in a variety of activities hosted by volunteers from area businesses and centers to learn about careers such as a carpenter, nurses, EMTs, bankers and astronauts.  They also will rotate through these activity stations to learn about careers after college.  All of the stations will feature hands-on activities or community guest speakers.

Both groups will visit a display being called the “College Library” to select two free books. The books are the result of a Kappa Delta Pi sponsored book drive. The students also will receive a bag of Southeast souvenirs, including pens, pencils, bookmarks and Rowdy Redhawks.

“We hope, through these activities, the children will have memories and connections to a goal of a college education and keep that vision throughout the K-12 educational experience,” said Gunn.