Reading, Pa. – Middle school students in the Reading School District will visit Albright College this month to get a taste of college life and an understanding that higher education is within their grasp.
Over two days – January 10 and 12 – a total of 400 seventh-graders from Northeast Middle School will travel the short distance up 13th Street to visit Albright. The students will take a couple of their regularly scheduled classes in Albright’s academic buildings, eat lunch in the College’s dining hall, tour campus, and meet with Albright students – including those who graduated from the Reading district – to ask questions about college life.
“We hope that Northeast’s day at Albright helps the students envision a future for themselves that includes college,” said Heather Foster, coordinator of Albright’s educational partnership with neighboring 13th and Union Elementary School.
Foster reached out to the principals of the Reading district schools along 13th Street, inquiring how the College could work hand-in-hand with them. Alex Brown, principal of Northeast Middle, suggested the visit as a way to help his students realize that college is a real possibility for them.
“For some students and families, college can seem like such a foreign and perceptually unachievable goal,” said Brown. “By having their classes on a college campus, students will have the opportunity to see that classrooms are similar to the classrooms in their schools. The academic expectations for students are similar to those that are placed upon them now, thus really seeing that college is not so foreign at all.”
Beyond the classroom, Brown hopes his students will get a taste of the independence that accompanies college life by eating lunch in the dining hall, and seeing students walk from building to building on campus.
“The fact that Albright College is literally in the backyard of our students’ homes makes the idea of college even more of a reality,” he said. “Overall, I want the students to take the entire college visit and come away with not ahope but a solid understanding and goal to go to college.”
In the event of inclement weather, the visits will be held on January 11 and 17.