Throughout the year, Haverford hosts many a campus tour for troops of potential future Fords and their families. But a couple of weeks ago, the College got to impress a different sort of tour group, one whose members were quite a bit younger than the usual prospective student.
Six kindergarten classes from Mastery Charter School’s Smedley Elementary Campus in Northeastern Philadelphia came to campus on a trip supported by the College’s service organization 8th Dimension. One of Mastery’s core values for all of its schools, both secondary and elementary, is that every child, regardless of the neighborhood they grow up in, can and should go to college. College preparation is a focus of the school, which strives to end educational inequality and whose motto is “Excellence. No Excuses.” So starting in kindergarten, once a year every class takes a field trip to a college campus so students can get a glimpse of the goal they will be working so hard towards.
Haverford student volunteers led the boisterous kids (and the teachers, parents and siblings who accompanied them) through the Douglas B. Gardner ’83 Integrated Athletics Center (GIAC), the track, the playground and library, before stopping for lunch at the Dining Center. The kindergarteners were especially impressed with Magill Library and were unable to contain their excitement for “so many books,” despite being warned, upon entry, to whisper by their teachers. No one really minded the noise, though; that kind of enthusiasm is infectious, not to mention that such fervor for reading is one great step toward the college-attendance goal these parents and teachers have set for their children.