Berks hosts fifth graders from Glenside Elementary School

students drawings
Credit: Penn State

The Penn State Berks Elementary and Early Childhood Education degree program will host more than 50 fifth-graders from Reading School District’s Glenside Elementary School for a full day of learning, excitement and fun from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28.

The fifth graders from Glenside and their teachers will spend the day learning about the environment, taking tours of the campus and participating in active and informative “centers” created and facilitated by Berks students. The term “centers” refers to hands-on, small group learning activities. During these explorations, the fifth graders will have opportunities to explore, question, converse, and uncover the concepts being developed. The centers for this particular day will each focus on environmental themes such as recycling, water quality and sustainability principles.  

The event will be led by Mahsa Kazempour, associate professor of science education at Penn State Berks. Students majoring in Elementary and Early Childhood Education Program and students enrolled in Kazempour's environmental science course will help facilitate the activities.

“For many Glenside students, this is their first college experience,” said Tracy L. Blunt, program coordinator for the elementary and early childhood education degree and supervisor of student teachers at Penn State Berks. “These educational events are so critical to both Glenside's children and our future educators.”

Melissa Fisher, principal of Glenside Elementary School state, “I witness the daily impact of the PDS (Professional Development School) partnership with Penn State Berks. The benefits of the expanding partnership and the opportunities it provides extend far beyond individual classrooms and coursework. The collaboration and innovation each year reaches students, faculty, staff, families and community. Glenside fifth grade students participation in an annual field trip to the Penn State Berks campus provides an early exposure to the college experience in the journey towards career and college-ready graduates.”

“We believe these early experiences and exposures to the college environment can help young students envision their futures to include attending college as a possibility,” add Blunt.

The educational campus visit is sponsored by Penn State Berks Professional Development School (PDS) Partnership. The PDS was formed in 2014 as a dynamic partnership in which college and school district students and faculty collaborate to enhance learning for all. The main goals are to enhance the educational experiences of all children, to ensure high quality preparation of new student teachers, to engage in furthering professional development as school and college based teachers and teacher educators, and to empower parents/caregivers as instructional partners in the education of their children.

Previously, Penn State Berks hosted students from Glenside Elementary School for its annual Earth Day event last spring.