Second Graders to visit HWS – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Second Graders to visit HWS

More than 170 students from local elementary schools will visit campus on Monday, May 4 as part of Geneva 2020’s efforts to build a stronger community and better prepare students for academic success. The day’s events will begin with a welcome by President Mark D. Gearan and will include sessions on leadership, cultures and languages and the environment among others.

The program was inspired in part by former HWS Trustee Wendy Puriefoy ’71, who consulted with the Geneva 2020 committee three years ago and encouraged the committee to think through important research about key transitions in children’s lives.

Rose Solomé, Global and Community Leadership Fellow for the Center for Teaching and Learning, and Tatiana Soto ‘15 will lead “Cultivating Future Leaders.” In this session, students will plant wildflower seeds. Each portion of the process will be broken down and explained through a leadership and empowerment lens.  

The session, “What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up,” encourages the students to think about the many possibilities for the future. Former Geneva City Schools teachers Shayne Feinberg, program coordinator with CCESL, and Jen Harris, director of elementary education and coordinator of field supervisors in the education department at HWS, will share an interactive activity around possible career paths. Students will be asked to draw a picture of what they want to be when they grow up; their answers will be collected and returned to them when they visit HWS as sixth graders.

Nadia Harvieux, education program manager for the Finger Lakes Institute at HWS, will lead a program on the environment. Her session, focused on “Water in Our Backyard,” will introduce students to environmental stewardship, explaining that it, and overall citizenship, is something that’s important to HWS.

The visiting second graders will also have the opportunity to meet with current HWS students in a session focused on language and culture. The students will share their love of studying different languages and cultures and emphasize the importance of learning different languages and how it can help students reach their goals.

The Geneva 2020 initiative is rooted in the collective impact model aimed directly at ensuring that high school students in the local community have the skills necessary to graduate from high school and to effectively pursue college. The program has already helped move the local high school graduation rate from 70% in 2010 to 82% in 2013, and to increase the number of local high school students entering college from 74% in 2009 to 76% in 2013. The School District recently increased its national standing in U.S. News and World Report moving from 141 to 114 in the list of public schools in New York State.