Elementary school students plan for campus experience

Activities for 7th and 8th grade students are part of the University’s partnership with the school and the community | May 10, 2004

A new partnership between the University and Hoffman Elementary School is bringing 34 seventh and eighth grade students to campus on Tuesday, May 18, and Wednesday, May 19. The visit by the students from the Evanston neighborhood that borders campus is part of Hoffman’s career month.

“We are really happy to have these students on campus as part of the Xavier community engagement process to build a stronger relationship with Evanston,” said Elizabeth Blume of the University’s Community Building Institute.

While on campus, students are participating in a variety of activities encouraging them to think about attending college.

“It gives them a chance to see what college looks like so they can consider it as a possibility for their future. Students may have never had a family member attend college, for example,” Blume said. “As they head into high school, students can think about what they have to accomplish in order to get into college.”

On Tuesday, students are using the McDonald Library to research various aspects of the University. The activity asks students to investigate questions such as, “What type of jobs do graduates from the Williams College of Business pursue?”

After researching the University, students are engaging in recreation at the O’Connor Sports Center followed by lunch at the Gallagher Student Center and a panel discussion with Xavier students about preparing for college and choosing a major.

On Wednesday, students are presenting their research findings, taking an admissions tour of the University and eating in the Hoff student dining hall. Finally, the students are meeting with Xavier students and faculty members for a question-and-answer session in the Cintas Center.

This is the first year of the Xavier/Hoffman/Evanston partnership. The partnership was proposed to Xavier by Evanston early last year as a way to save Hoffman Elementary, a public school in the Cincinnati district, from having to close. The partnership supports a plan for the Cincinnati Public Schools to either build a new school or totally renovate the existing building in addition to construction of an adult education center and an early childhood development center as part of the new or renovated structure.

Other initiatives include establishing a mentoring relationship between Xavier education experts and Hoffman teachers and placing education majors at Hoffman as student teachers.

“Hoffman presents an interesting opportunity for a learning lab in urban minority education,” Blume said.

The partnership offers Xavier students and faculty an opportunity to learn from Hoffman’s unique characteristics such as its autism program, one of the few of its kind in the region. “We learn from each other,” said Blume.

The Community Building Institute is a partnership of Xavier University and United Way to advance asset-based community development strategies for community-building and neighborhood revitalization.