April 13, 2000
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—A group of 30 sixth graders from the Chestnut School in Springfield, Mass. will spend a day at Amherst College on April 21 and 28. The visits will be the culmination of six weeks of work in statewide program called "Kids to College."

On the Amherst campus, the Chestnut School sixth graders will have some fun in the gym, check out the dinosaurs in Pratt Museum of Natural History, sit in on a class, and visit the radio station and the planetarium. "Most important to the kids," according to Brian Simoneau, assistant to the dean of admission and coordinator of the trip, is "a stop at Valentine Dining Hall, where they'll eat all the soft-serve ice cream they can handle."

Simoneau, aided by Amherst students Melissa Roja ‘00 and Calvin Alexander ‘01, who spent three days at Chestnut School in March, will show the sixth graders around the college. They will also host any parents who want to come.

"We’re really looking forward to it," Simoneau says. "We’ve been preparing the kids for the things we’ll see on campus, and they’re very excited. By exploring the different aspects of life on a college campus, they'll get the chance to experience what a day at college is like, to see that college can be fun, and to realize that college is a real possibility in each of their lives. They’ll also bring more than a few smiles to some weary college students."

Kids to College, founded in 1993, is a collaborative effort of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts, the Higher Education Information Center, the Board of Higher Education and the Massachusetts Department of Education. The program is funded with a grant from the Student Loan Marketing Association.

For more information, contact Brian Simoneau in the Amherst College Admission Office at 413/542-2328.