December 22, 2000

Vermont Junior High School Students to Sample College Life

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.--Middlebury College Cook Commons, in conjunction with the Foundation for Excellent Schools, has invited approximately 50 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students most of whom are from Vermont to campus to sample college life at “Midd Day” on Saturday, Jan. 13.  Junior high school students from the Vermont towns of Bakersfield, Fairfield, Danby, Coventry, Chester, Andover, Benson, and Pownall as well as the New York town of Ticonderoga will join several Middlebury students who will act as counselors for the day.  The purpose of Midd Day, which will be free to all participants, is to offer the young students a glimpse not only of college life, but also of possible choices for their future.  Many of these students would be the first members of their families to attend college.

The event, which is open solely to the invited students, will run from approximately noon until 8 p.m., and will include activities ranging from a talk on college admissions to a hockey game.

The Foundation for Excellent Schools, a national organization based in Cornwall, Vt., and co-sponsor of the event, strives to help schools collaborate with the community and beyond by developing partnerships with colleges, parents, businesses, and other schools. Cook Commons is part of the College’s commons system, which divides the campus into five groups of dorms. 

Justin Drechsler, a junior at Middlebury and one of the organizers of the event, said,  “Through Midd Day, we hope to reach out to those students who might be discouraged about their future, letting them know that opportunities exist for everyone.  Though the bulk of the day is centered around college, we also stress life-based skills like goal setting and a positive attitude.

“This is actually the second time Midd Day has taken place.  Initially, this was to be a one-time event, but feedback was so overwhelmingly positive last year that we decided to make it an annual happening.  Our eventual objective is to convince several other Vermont colleges to run comparable programs, thus expanding the number of students that we reach,” added Drechsler.