Bristol, R.I. – Roger Williams University is gearing up to host its seventh annual 5th Grade Day on Tuesday, May 6. This year’s program will bring every fifth grader from all four elementary schools in the Bristol/Warren district – a total of 320 students – to campus. Nearly 200 volunteers from RWU will guide the fifth graders through a taste of campus life, from campus tours to discussions on majors, athletics, clubs and organizations on campus.
The fifth graders will arrive on campus just after 9:30 a.m. After welcoming remarks from Melinda Thies, school district superintendent, and Don Mays, the University’s associate director of undergraduate admission and coordinator of multicultural recruitment, students will embark on their tours of campus. Each student selects a “major” prior to arriving and can then sit in small groups with a current RWU student in that course of study, allowing the elementary students to learn about the academic experience of that particular major.
During their day on campus, students will also listen to a presentation from the Student Senate on teamwork and leadership and partake in activities in the Recreation Center run by RWU student athletes to learn more about campus life. The day will conclude with a session led by Catherine Capolupo, vice president for enrollment management.
Fifth Grade Day is sponsored by Bristol/Warren Regional School District and the Feinstein Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement with assistance from the Office of Student Programs and Leadership. Now in its seventh year, the purpose of the program is to provide fifth graders with an opportunity to explore the possibility of future careers, set high academic goals, tour the campus and participate in team building activities.
Post-visit data from the 2011 program shows that the fifth graders gained knowledge of campus culture (22 percent) and academic expectations (26 percent). The program stresses the importance of starting early in getting a good education and the academic background necessary to pursue chosen careers.