NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A group of Tennessee State University freshmen recently visited Kipp Kirkpatrick Elementary and posed this question to curious kindergarteners: “What is College?”
On March 22, about 20 students from the Freshman Innovation Council visited the elementary school and engaged four kindergarten classes in activities around the question, as part of a TSU Student Activities outreach initiative.
Organizers said the goal was to be able to give the young kids an early feel about going to college.
“Putting on this program for the kindergarteners about college was an amazing experience for us, just as much as it was for them,” said Malik Meadows, a freshman early childhood education major from Atlanta, who is the chair of FIC.
In a full day of events, the group taught the kids TSU chants, vocabulary words, and lessons on studying, making friends, and having good behavior. Activities also included a puppet show of a lost Tiger who meets new friends, as he finds his way across the Tennessee State University Tigers’ campus.
Meadows said preparation for the visit and activities started in January with several meetings among FIC members in consultation with Kipp teachers and staff “to ensure excellence in our presentation.”
Tasha Andrews, TSU director of student activities, who organized the visit, said the interaction between FIC students and the kindergarteners was very educational and entertaining.
“Our students really shocked me with their presentation to the kindergarteners at Kipp Kirkpatrick,” Andrews said. “I was so impressed with how they used the school mascot and created their own coloring sheets, storyline, and games that incorporated so many things about the TSU culture, but on a level for the children to understand.”
According to Andrews, Dean of Students and Associate Vice President Frank Stevenson kicked off the “What is College” initiative for first-year students, with the creation of Freshman Innovation Council. The group is comprised of students who formerly served as class or student government association presidents at their respective high schools, or are a part of the freshman class council here at TSU.
FIC is scheduled to take their kindergarten presentation to two more local elementary schools before the semester ends, Andrews said.
For more information on TSU Student Activities, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/activities
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With more than 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.