Elementary schools tour campus

Students from local Reading Buddies and Adopt-a-Classroom programs

May 12, 2008

In two days, Knox College's Center for Community Service brought close to 100 students from Cooke and Nielson elementary schools in Galesburg onto the Knox campus for tours and talks with College students, faculty and staff.

On May 5, Knox hosted nearly 70 students from Nielson School, each of whom is paired with a Knox College student in the Reading Buddies program. The Knox students travel to Nielson once a week to read individually to the grade school students.

"This year, one of the teachers at Nielson, Jenny Bredemeier, whos also a Knox graduate, told us that they could accommodate up to 40 new volunteers for the Reading Buddies program," said Kathleen Ridlon, coordinator of the Center for Community Service. "We are glad that Knox could help meet the need for more volunteers at Nielson." The Nielson students visited three locations in Galesburg ? the studios of WGIL Radio, the Galesburg Public Library and the Knox campus, concluding with a lunch in Knox's Seymour Union.

The next day, May 6, about 20 students from Cooke School toured campus with Knox students who have been participating in the Adopt-a-Classroom program.

"Adopt-a-Classroom is an initiative that we developed this year with Cooke -- a grade school right in our neighborhood, within walking distance of Knox," Ridlon said. "Eight Knox students have been going to Cooke every Tuesday afternoon for the past two months, mentoring the students, taking part in activities, helping with homework and generally promoting the idea of going to college."

The students visited T. Fleming Fieldhouse, Harbach Theatre, the Center for Intercultural Life and Seymour Library. They met with Craig Choma, associate professor of theatre, Heather Poppy, associate dean and director of the Center for Career and Preprofessional Development; and Cathy Walters, director of International Student Advisement.

Founded in 1837, Knox is a national liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, with students from 45 states and 44 nations. Knox's "Old Main" is a National Historic Landmark and the only building remaining from the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates.

Heather Poppy
Heather Poppy speaks to students from Cooke School in Knox's Seymour Library; below, Nielson School principal Matt LeClere eats lunch with students from his school during their tour of the Knox campus.
Heather Poppy