Take a Kid To College Day

The Berger Institute for Work, Family, and Children will host the second annual Take a Kid to College Day at CMC on Friday, April 1.

Designed for local elementary school children between ages 8 and 12, the event provides a glimpse of collegiate life, with guidance from a CMC student volunteer mentor. About 20 students from Mountain View Elementary School are expected to attend this year.

“Many parents are unable to bring their children on a field trip to work, yet would love to introduce them to that future, as well as to what college life would be like,” says Berger Institute director Diane Halpern, past president of the American Psychological Association. “In our own way, we are able to do that for those parents and children. Preparing for the world of work is inevitable, and education is a crucial link in that process.”

The ultimate goal, she says, is to inspire all children to consider college in their futures.

The event was organized by Sherylle Tan, Berger Institute assistant director, and Heidi Riggio, postdoctoral fellow. Collegiate volunteers, supervised by Berger Institute staff, will guide students in interactive learning activities designed to encourage the young guests in their potential, and also understand the benefits of higher education. The children will receive school supplies donated by local retailers, and will also tour the campus and enjoy lunch in Collins Dining Hall alongside students and faculty.

Mariel Kyger ’06 was one of nearly 30 CMCers who volunteered in the program’s inaugural year. “A credo of CMC is that it’s a place for ‘leaders in the making,’ Kyger says. “I think this event lives up to that, beautifully. In fact, one of my charges last year, a 12-year-old girl, told me that she wants to someday work in the White House, just like Condoleezza Rice.”

Kyger, who will reprise her role as a volunteer this year, says the event is inspirational for volunteers as well as young guests. “This event is great for them and us because it inspires these children to one day become leaders in their own communities.”

The event is co-sponsored by the CMC’s Berger Institute for Work, Family, and Children; the Kravis Leadership Institute; and the Career Services Center.

The Berger Institute educates students, scholars, law-makers and the community about a wide range of work and family issues, including the effects of changing demographics and diversity on work-family balance, family-friendly workplaces, poverty issues for working families and the relationships among stress, health and child development.