Approximately 200 Horry County elementary and middle school students will visit the Coastal Carolina University campus March 28 for "A Day in the Life of a College Student." The students will be shown around campus by their mentors, Coastal students with whom they have developed a one-on-one relationship during the academic year.
The day will begin at 9:30 a.m. with a welcome ceremony in Wheelwright Auditorium, followed by a tour of the campus, planned academic activities with Coastal students and faculty, and lunch. The students will also have an opportunity to meet Coastal President Ronald R. Ingle, President-elect David DeCenzo, head football coach David Bennett as well as athletes, cheerleaders and "Chauncey," the Coastal mascot. First Book of Horry County will supply each student with a new book.
"The goal of this day is to encourage these young students to envision higher education as a real option in their future, through the creative and interactive experiences on campus with their CCU mentors," said Emma Savage-Davis, director of Coastal's Center for Education and Community, sponsor of the program.
The mentoring program was made possible through a grant from the S.C. Commission on Higher Education. The Dalton and Linda Floyd family made a $250,000 gift to Coastal in 2006 to expand the university's mentoring program and provide a statewide model for such programs.
Floyd, a former chairman of the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, championed the "mentoring" concept and was instrumental in starting the mentoring program at Coastal in 2003. Coastal initiated the program three years ago, pairing university students with children from area public schools.
The program aims to improve South Carolina's low high school graduation rate by connecting college students with children who may benefit from some extra encouragement.
More than 300 Coastal students are serving as mentors to elementary and middle school students in 20 Horry County elementary and middle schools over the course of the 2006-2007 school year.
The schools participating in "A Day in the Life of a College Student" are: Carolina Forest, Waccamaw, Conway, Homewood, Pee Dee, South Conway, Green Sea Floyds, Myrtle Beach Intermediate, North Myrtle Beach Intermediate and Socastee Elementary schools. Students from Black Water, Conway, Whittemore Park, Myrtle Beach and Forestbrook Middle schools will also be in attendance.
For more information, contact Coastal's Center for Education and Community at 349-2665.