Baltimore Kids, Bowdoin Bound

 In News

Thirty-one 4th, 5th and 6th graders from Baltimore will be on the Bowdoin College campus next week for a taste of college life.

“These kids have so much potential. They are teaching us a new way of looking at education”

For the third year, Bowdoin Bound will bring a group of inner-city elementary school kids to Brunswick, Maine, where they will be introduced to the opportunities offered by a college education. The program will run from July 17 through July 23, 2005.

Kids from urban areas enjoy the life experience and opportunity Bowdoin Bound provides with their visit to Bowdoin College

While the 31 students — all from Brehms Lane Elementary School in one of Baltimore’s toughest neighborhoods — are about eight years away from their high school graduations, the organizers of Bowdoin Bound hope that their experiences in Brunswick will encourage them to make college a part of their future plans.

Possibly Bowdoin College. But no matter. The goal of Bowdoin Bound is to provide the students with experiences today that will lead them to wind up in college — any college — down the road. (One of their activities will be filling out their applications to Bowdoin — to be kept on file until around 2012!)

Holding the program in Maine offers the students a look at life beyond Baltimore. Many of the students have never before ventured beyond their own blocks.

Their week at Bowdoin will include activities through the Bowdoin Day Camp — sports, games, crafts, and other activities — as well as reading, writing, math, and computer and library work.

They also will spend time with current Bowdoin students who are serving as mentors. “We talk about what professions they might like to pursue one day, their families and how they’ve grown up thus far,” describes Emily Hubbard ’07, who participated on campus in 2004 and continues to act as a mentor. “I think that these topics are important, because the [Baltimore] students find ways to look up to their mentors and really think about the importance of always doing your best and achieving.”

When they return to school in Baltimore in the fall, the students will visit other classrooms to share their experiences with their classmates. The hope is that their stories will inspire others to work hard in school and make college a definite part of their future plans.

Another goal of the program is to keep the students’ connection with Bowdoin Bound alive. Bowdoin College alumni in the Baltimore area serve as mentors to the students, continuing to guide them through the years as the time for attending college approaches.

Bowdoin Bound is a great program,” concludes Hubbard. “It gives students a chance to visit a new place and to visit a college campus. I also like the idea of all these really great students having a chance to show off their talents and do fun things in the summer. And the people involved — the teachers from Baltimore, the organizers, and the mentors — are really concerned about the students in a genuine way and have done a lot to make sure that the program will be a success.”

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