PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — April is always bustling at Brown University. As the weather warms and students prep for the final weeks of classes, nearly 1,000 people visit campus each day to take tours, attend events or participate in A Day on College Hill, where admitted students decide whether Brown is their best fit.
Yet on Thursday, April 14, even amid all the existing hubbub, it was hard to miss one particular group of visitors.
High school students from an array of schools in Providence arrived on a fleet of yellow school buses, flooding onto the sidewalk in front of the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center. They greeted each other warmly, the sounds of their laughter carrying across the College Green. They poured into the Salomon Center for Teaching, cheered boisterously and waved Brown pennants as University President Christina H. Paxson invited them to express their excitement for the day ahead.
It was College Day at Brown, a campus-wide event organized by leaders at Brown’s Annenberg Institute for School Reform and the Office of the President.
Soljane Martinez, the Annenberg Institute’s education coordinator, said College Day at Brown aspires to give Providence high school students a taste of life as a college student. Rather than simply taking a campus tour or hearing a talk from an admissions officer, the all-encompassing day of events gives students a glimpse into many of the courses, athletic programs, community engagement opportunities and social activities that Brown offers.
“We wanted to give these students the opportunity to talk face-to-face with Brown students and faculty, to experience what it’s like on the College Green between classes, to see how many clubs and sports and volunteer experiences there are,” Martinez said. “We want to show them what’s out there and fuel their interest in pursuing an education beyond high school — whether that’s a degree at Brown or somewhere else, or whether it’s vocational school in carpentry or construction management.”
College Day is just one of a large and growing number of ways in which Brown engages with Providence schools each year. For decades, the University has worked closely with leaders in Providence to support K-12 education through teaching, training and mentoring, research, volunteer efforts and financial investments aligned with the schools’ priorities. Brown’s engagement helps enrich students’ classroom learning, transform physical spaces, innovate teaching practices and inform local education policy. Area high school students have the opportunity to receive SAT preparation and tutoring from Brown students, participate in summer enrichment programs such as Brown Summer High School and Pre-College, learn drone-based robotics and more.