April 14, 2011

Children to get a glimpse of college life

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Children are never too young to learn what college can mean to them.

That’s the premise behind Kids Day Out set for Saturday, April 16, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Ryan Reed, public relations director for the Speaking and Teaching Registered Student Organization and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., conceived the event to give something back to the community and its children. A number of SIUC organizations are helping bring his idea to life.

About 30 children from the I Can Read program at the Eurma C. Hayes Center in Carbondale will be participating, and Reed said organizers of Kids Day Out can accommodate about 15 more children if they pre-register. The event is for children in kindergarten through fifth grades. Parents can email Reed at ryreed@siu.edu no later than 3 p.m. on Friday, April 15, to register their child for Kids Day Out, which is a free program.

The field trip to SIUC begins at 1:15 p.m. with a visit to Morris Library. SIUC students and staff will read to the children and show them the many resources available at the library. Some surprise puppet guests will join in the fun. Then, about 2 p.m., the youngsters will board a tram for a guided tour of campus. Then, by about 2:45 or 3 p.m., they’ll be at the University Museum. There, the children will tour the exhibits, learn about the artistry on display and make their very own art projects to take home.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to come to Kids Day Out. The children will be at Morris Library from about 1:15-2 p.m., on a tram tour of the campus from about 2 to 2:45 p.m. and at the University Museum from about 2:45 or 3 p.m. until 4:15 p.m. For more information, contact Ryan Reed at ryreed@siu.edu.

“Kids Day Out will show how much our college students do care about the kids and the community and will give the children the opportunity to find out that education is cool and rewarding. We hope they can see themselves as SIUC students when they grow up. And, it will be a fun, learning experience for them,” Reed said.

Sponsors of Kids Day Out include the Inter-Greek Council, the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the Speaking and Teaching RSO, the Black Mens’ Roundtable RSO, the alumni chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and the NAACP.