Our students arrived at school on Saturday morning, most in their raincoats and sweatshirts preparing for the predicted rainy weather; but as you walked into the classrooms you could only see the sunshine of their faces and hear the words, “We’re going to college today!”
Saturday, May 31st, was our college trip day! Kindergarten and First Grade scholars traveled to Rhodes College, while Second and Third Grade scholars traveled to the University of Memphis. For our younger scholars, this was their first time stepping onto a college campus – to see where real college kids attend, and where they could be future graduates.
Alumnae of these universities on staff at Memphis College Prep led the walking tours. Susan Baker, a first grade teacher, and Kaleigh Donnelly, our Student Supports Coordinator, led our Rhodes College trip. Lauren Stout, a third grade teacher, led our tour of the University of Memphis. Our scholars were excited to have them take the lead, as they actually went to these colleges!
At both schools our scholars were introduced to many traditions. At Rhodes College, scholars were introduced to a graduation legend – specifically not stepping, or walking over, the school’s seal. Legend has it that if you walk over the seal, you will not graduate from Rhodes College. After he heard this story, Sam, one of our kindergarten scholars, was startled, and said, “There’s going to be a real seal?” Other scholars excitedly squealed phrases such as, “We can’t touch a seal!” It was the perfect time for Mrs. Baker to take a step back and respond with an alternate meaning of the word seal: a special symbol that is unique to Rhodes College. Scholars were relieved, and were then able to walk around it – just in case they become future attendees and graduates at Rhodes College!
Multiple scholars on both trips asked questions to learn more about each school, inquiring into the amount of work that they’ll have to do and what a college “show what you know” looks like. They saw the fun things – such as the pool, or the gym, but also were very interested in the academic side, such as the library or classroom space. We hope that their knowledge base grows more and more, so that when they reach their college years they will be ready for the true experience.
These college trips hold a special meaning to Memphis College Prep. Upholding our mission, we want to be sure that our students see where they are going and have a firm understanding that they will graduate from college. Our trips were exciting, and a great way to end the 2013-14 school year.