BRISTOL, R.I. – Despite impending final exams this week, RWU undergrads were caught smiling and happily holding doors for an unexpected group of students that sets foot on campus just one day each year. On Tuesday, 250 fifth graders from four Bristol/Warren schools could be spotted throughout campus, gazing with wide-eyed wonder at a place that they just might call home someday.
Established in 2008, 5th Grade Day is far from the average field trip. This fun-filled occasion provides elementary school students the opportunity to explore the possibility of future careers, set high academic goals, tour the campus and participate in team building activities. Like many Roger Williams students, the fifth graders selected a major before embarking on their University journey; they then were able to connect with a current RWU student in that course of study to learn more about the field. From climbing into real life sailboats in the gymnasium, to shaking the hand of the Roger Williams statue for good luck, students are exposed to an (age appropriate) authentic University experience by exploring both academics and co-curricular opportunities.
“Your passions outside the classroom have to translate and carry over inside the classroom,” Senior Vice President for Enrollment Management Lynn Fawthrop told the fifth graders as they wrapped up their campus experience.
The sixth annual Fifth Grade Day was sponsored by the Bristol/Warren Regional School District, Feinstein Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement and the Office of Student Programs and Leadership, with the help of nearly 100 passionate Roger Williams volunteers. For the kids’ eye view, check out the slideshow below: