More Than 350 Sixth Graders to Visit MCLA for "Berkshire County Goes to College Day"


NORTH ADAMS, MA - More than 350 local sixth graders will visit the campus of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) on April 10 and 11 as part of "Berkshire County Goes to College Day," an annual event held by The Berkshire Compact for Education and MCLA.

In total, "Berkshire County Goes to College Day" will bring approximately 1,100 elementary and middle school students to college campuses across the Berkshires from April 10 to 13. In addition to MCLA, students will visit Bard College at Simon's Rock, Berkshire Community College (BCC) and Williams College.

The "Berkshire County Goes to College" initiative is part of the Berkshire Higher Education Passport - a plan to help improve access to a college education.  It provides the opportunity for every sixth-grade student in the County to visit a local college campus in April. It is part of an effort to raise awareness of college in Berkshire County residents at an early age.

On Tuesday, April 10, students from Brayton Elementary, Williamstown Elementary and Lenox Memorial schools will visit MCLA from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. And, on Wednesday, April 11, students from Richmond Consolidated, Cheshire Elementary, C.T. Plunkett, Abbott Memorial and Greylock Elementary schools will visit the College, also from 9 a.m. to noon.

During 20-minute sessions held throughout the MCLA campus, the students will tour a residence hall, learn how to use the equipment in the television studio, create and record music with students and faculty, help to create robots with MCLA's physics students, learn a dance routine from the Step Team, take an interactive tour of the athletic training room, see new chemistry experiments in the lab, and get a behind-the-scenes look at the fine and performing arts theater - all before enjoying lunch in the College's cafeteria.

Also on Wednesday, April 11, students from Herberg Middle School will visit Berkshire Community College (BCC) from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Students from Farmington River and Sullivan Elementary schools will visit BCC on Friday, April 13, also from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Students from Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter (BArT), Hancock Elementary, Lee Elementary and Nessacus Regional Middle schools will visit Bard College at Simon's Rock from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, April 11. And, students from Clarksburg Elementary, Monument Valley Elementary, Reid Middle School and Lanesborough Elementary schools will visit Williams College on Thursday, April 12, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

"This Berkshire Compact initiative continues to be a milestone in the path toward higher education for our youth," according to Denise Richardello, vice president of enrollment and external relations at MCLA. "By opening up our local college campuses to the area's sixth-grade students, this annual event keeps Berkshire County youth on track on the path to college. We hope they will continue to explore their educational options for the future."

The Berkshire Compact for Education was developed to address the higher education needs of Berkshire County residents and employers. The Compact is comprised of members from key area employment sectors, including cultural institutions, finance, healthcare and specialty manufacturing, along with school superintendents, college administrators and faculty, municipal officials and representatives of nonprofit organizations.

For more information about "Berkshire County Goes to College Day," contact MCLA's Office of Admission at 662-5410 or go to compact.