Hobart and William Smith Colleges will welcome youth from the Boys & Girls Club of Geneva for a summer college experience on Friday, Aug. 9. During the event, 75 children in grades one through three will participate in such activities as leadership training on the Quad, a movement workshop with Professor of Dance Donna Davenport in the Gearan Center, a scavenger hunt in the Warren Hunting Smith library as well as a visit to HWS’ Fribolin Farm.
The event is part of the Boys & Girls Club’s six-week Summer University program, created in partnership with HWS and the Geneva City School District through Geneva 2020. “We put together a program that fills their lives with fun, structure, food and guidance,” says Chris Lavin ’81, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club in a recent conversation with HWS President Joyce P. Jacobsen for the Pulteney Street Podcast. “There’s no learning loss for our kids between June and September.”
Melissa Hegarty, program assistant at the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (CCESL) as well as an assistant site supervisor for the Boys & Girls Club, says the campus visit allows the children to view the possibilities that are available in a college environment. “All these new experiences go beyond sitting in math or English class,” she says.
Katie Flowers, director of CCESL, says the HWS students who volunteer at the event also benefit. The students are working this summer as Summer of Service interns and are selected from the ranks of the HWS Tutor Corps at the Boys & Girls Club. “The Summer of Service internship program affords tutors with an opportunity to further develop those relationships, explore potential career interests and appreciate all that Geneva has to offer in the beautiful summer months,” says Flowers.
The Colleges’ emphasis on service and community engagement has received national praise. For the second year in a row, Hobart and William Smith Colleges have been named the top liberal arts institution for service in Washington Monthly’s College Guide and Rankings. Since 2005, the policy magazine has rated U.S. colleges and universities based on their contributions to society, taking into consideration social mobility, research and service.