Small children gripping trays loaded with french fries and ice cream, and occasionally something green, were at times visible through the crowd of relatively rangy Bowdoin students at Thorne Hall Friday.
On Bridge to Kids Day, Bowdoin students involved in one of the College’s many mentoring programs invite their mentees to campus to tour the campus, play outside, make crafts, and eat lunch in the dining hall. Caitlin Callahan, assistant director for student community service at the Center for the Common Good, says the day is a nice change in routine. Instead of Bowdoin students traveling to their mentees’ schools, the children get a chance to see where their mentor spends most of his or her time.
Bridge to Kids Day happens over two days in May. Although the event is primarily designed to be fun, it is often the first chance for many of these young students to set foot on a college campus, where “the seed of college aspirations” may be planted, according to the McKeen Center.
Approximately 200 Bowdoin students serve in one-on-one mentoring relationships with local students during the school year through Bowdoin’s mentoring programs, which are part of Bowdoin’s Volunteer Corps. Additionally, many Bowdoin students volunteer directly with Big Brothers Big Sisters.