By: Aaron Brown ’21
Randolph College has been proudly hosting Kids in College program, also known as KIC, for seven years. The program was established back in 2012 with the purpose of bringing 6th graders from Dunbar Middle School for Innovation onto campus to interact with Randolph students; specifically with Randolph students who are part of the school’s education program. As of this year the program was expanded to include students from Linkhorne Middle School.
The Kids in College program is a collaboration between the Randolph College Education Department and a Virginia Department of Education 21st Century grant. 21st Century is a real estate agency that is also involved in funding community initiatives like the Kids In College program.
The current head of Kids in College at Randolph is Assistant Professor of Education Cheryl Lindeman. When asked to describe the growth of the program, Lindeman states, “Expanding the 21st Century grant partnership with Dunbar Middle School to include Linkhorne Middle School students gives us a win-win for all students. With this program Randolph College students will be able to practice their mentor/leadership skills as they learn more about teaching adolescents. The after school program allows our student’s first-hand experience at learning how to plan activities and see how the middle school students are applying their academic and social skills during Randolph’s Kids in College experience.”
Kids in College is incorporated into the the curriculum of Education 203, Leadership and Mentoring the Adolescents. Students in the class are required to prepare a lesson for the 6th graders every Tuesdays and Thursdays under the guidance of Professor Linderman. These lessons are conducted in Randolph classrooms in order to provide student-teachers with a comfortable environment for these learning experiences. Tahmina Paiker ‘21, a student-teacher currently enrolled in Education 203, says, “To me this program has great points as a teacher in training. But I never knew that being a teacher had a life like this. I believe that this program is great way to experience what it’s like to be a teacher for a day.”
The Kids in College program isn’t the only program at Randolph that involves local schools. The Science Festival, also known as SciFest, is a science/physics program that is run by Randolph’s science and physics department. Each Spring for a weekend college students and professors from the region come and present scientific exhibits. Randolph students are in charge of many group activities that bring local school-age kids to campus to learn and participate.
SciFest started in 2009 and it brings new attractions every year. This year’s exhibits included a Star Wars comic-con exhibit, where people came dressed up as characters from the films, as well as Randolph students dressed up as dinosaurs from the Jurassic World movies, and model aircraft sky shows.