By: Alyssa Compa
What if you were given the chance in middle school to go to college? To tour the campus and attended classes with college students? Well these lucky 8th grade avid students from Lakeside Middle School did just that at Cumberland County College’s (CCC) Annual Duke for a Day event. The event took place Tuesday morning on April 14th, and a little rain didn’t dampen the festivities.
“Duke for a Day was created four years ago to build partnerships with the area schools. More specifically to get younger students in the mind set to stay in school and make the right choices early so you have multiple options and can be successful. If we can get the students to be deliberate starting in middle school, they can set out a successful game plan and have an easier transition to high school and then college. We hope that their hands-on experience each year makes their choice that much clearer and hope they choose CCC,” said Slade.
Students arrived on campus at 9 am and were escorted to the Gymnasium where they were greeted by event organizer, Kellie Slade, and college president, Dr. Thomas Isekenegbe. The 8th graders were then separated into groups and taken to two different classes by student volunteers. Types of classes the students attended included a CSI Lab Demonstration, Introduction to Public Relations, an event planning class, “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader” themed science class, and many more.
Professor Rich Taylor held the “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader” class and has been a part of the event in the past. He divided his class into two teams and had the students go head to head answering science related questions. A game that was both challenging and entertaining for the Lakeside students. “It’s a great experience. I enjoy working with the students and seeing the expansive knowledge they have. It’s great to watch them interact with their group to come up with the answers,” said Professor Taylor. “Knowledge is power and the event expands their knowledge, showing them all the opportunities they have to take advantage of.”
When the students returned from classes they ate lunch and listened to various speakers. They also participated in group activities including a fencing demonstration by the CCC Fencing Club. Volunteers spoke with the students about what they want to be when they get older and received a variety of feedback. Some aspiring to be nurses, teachers, and athletes. Others wanting to be video game designers, veterinarians, or as one student stated go to school to receive a degree in everything. One thing they shared in common was that they would spend two years at CCC first. The event proved to be a memorable experience for all students, both big and small.