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Sixth Graders to Attend Annual 'Berkshire County Goes to College Day'

04/04/2014

NORTH ADAMS, MASS. -Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) has announced that over 1,000 local sixth grade students from Berkshire County's schools will visit Berkshire colleges during the week of April 7-11.  The annual event,  "Berkshire County Goes to College Day," is led by MCLA and sponsored by the Berkshire United Way and the Berkshire Compact for Education. 

The "Berkshire County Goes to College" program is an important part of the Berkshire Compact's Passport - a plan to help young students experience opportunities that will raise awareness and improve access to a college education.  At MCLA, sixth graders from Lenox Memorial Middle School, Nessacus Regional Middle School, Abbott Memorial School, Hoosac Valley Middle School, Lanesborough Elementary School and Williamstown Elementary School will visit  on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 8th and 9th.          

Students will tour the MCLA campus, including residence halls and the new Feigenbaum Center for Science and Innovation and participate in a variety of interactive sessions including observing activities such as science in action through experiments in the biology, chemistry and physics labs, attend productions in the TV Studio, and participation in leadership workshops offered by MCLA students.  A planetarium demonstration in Starlab will also be offered.

Students will enjoy lunch and also a performance by MCLA's a cappella choir, the Allegrettos.

According to Denise Richardello, executive vice president at MCLA, "Berkshire County Goes to College" continues to be a milestone for local youth on the path toward higher education.

"By opening MCLA's doors and doors to the other higher education partners in the region, we are exposing young minds to the possibilities and opportunities of attending college.  Whether it be the introduction to broadcast media and TV production or the engagement with faculty members in the science labs, the goal is for these students to leave seeing themselves walking the halls of a college classroom building or being a member of a collegiate athletic team. These high impact experiences contribute to fulfilling their hopes and dreams."

In addition to MCLA, students will visit Bard College at Simon's Rock, Berkshire Community College (BCC) and Williams College, where activities will include campus tours; demonstrations and workshops related to areas such as science, arts, and technology; meals in campus dining facilities; and visits to residence halls.

In its ninth year, the Berkshire Compact for Education, a diverse group of civic, education, and business leaders representing various employment sectors, have effectively worked to identify educational needs and turn these goals into action to raise the aspirations of al Berkshire County residents to pursue education and to build connections between the needs of the workplace and the local education system.  The Berkshire County Goes to College program is one of the Compact's signature programs along with many other outreach activities.

Funding for Berkshire County Goes to College is generously provided by the Berkshire United Way.

For more information about "Berkshire County Goes to College Day," contact Gina Wagner in MCLA's Office of Admission, 413-662-5410, or gw2781@mcla.edu.