On Friday, April 29, the Hobart and William Smith community will host students from Geneva-area elementary schools as part of Geneva 2020‘s efforts to build a stronger community and better prepare students for academic success. The day’s events will introduce more than 100 local second graders to a college setting, with activities focusing on literacy and career possibilities.
The program was inspired in part by former HWS Trustee Wendy Puriefoy ’71, who served as the president of Public Education Network, the nation’s largest network of community-based school reform organizations, and consulted with the Geneva 2020 committee, encouraging the group to think through important research about key transitions in children’s lives.
During the visit to campus, the second graders will be welcomed by HWS President and Geneva 2020 steering committee member Mark D. Gearan. The students will later read Alvin Tressel’s book “Rain Drop Splash” with Nadia Harvieux, the education program manager at the Finger Lakes Institute, learning about the process of a rainstorm.
Patrick Collins P’09, professor of education and chair of the theatre program, will conduct a number of interactive theatre games and warm-up activities designed to introduce the students to drama and theatre.
Community Service Program Coordinator Shayne Feinberg will share Al Yankovic’s comedic career book “When I Grow Up” with the students, along with conducting career-related activities.
On the Quad, Associate Dean of Students Brandon Barile will lead a session in which the second graders will engage in a personal enrichment activity with a focus on empowerment and affirmation.
Geneva 2020 is a communitywide initiative focused on supporting and advancing education and outcomes for Geneva’s young people (pre-K through 12). Recently partnering with SUNY’s Cradle to Career Initiative, Geneva 2020 works on the collective impact model in which the Colleges are a lead partner. In recognizing the importance that early childhood health, wellness and education play in later academic success, Geneva 2020 has expanded its vision to encompass three overarching goals: every child enters school ready to learn (kindergarten readiness); every student is supported, engaged and succeeds in school; and every graduate attains employment or a post-secondary credential.