Abilene Elementary Students Learn about Setting Future Goals with HSU Tour


“Visiting the HSU campus is a major inspiration for our students,” said Ramon Zamora, a teacher at Bonham Elementary School as he accompanied almost 100 fifth-grade students on a daylong tour of Hardin-Simmons University, May 2, 2014.

“Administrators at Bonham wanted their fifth-grade scholars to observe different aspects of university life, hear personal testimonies of the educational journey from university students, and enjoy various types of activities available on a university campus,” said Dr. Renee Collins, associate professor and chair of the Department of Educational Studies at HSU.

Collins coordinated the campus tour with various faculty and staff members to highlight special groups on the campus, including the HSU Spurs Dance Team and the HSU Six White Horses program.

Collins said Bonham Elementary’s principal, Mrs. Tina Wyatt, and Bonham instructional coordinator, Mrs. Teri Corbett, believe that a university campus tour helps students learn the importance of setting goals and being able to picture themselves in the future.

Lindy Chittum, a Six White Horses rider and a senior criminal justice major from Abilene Wylie, related the history of the famous white horses to the students and encouraged young riders to one day try out for the riding team.

“Our horse and rider team opens rodeos with fast-riding routines, and we march in a lot of parades. One of the things we have to learn as riders is to control the horse with one hand while balancing and controlling a large waving flag with the other hand,” she told the fifth-graders.

Throughout the day, HSU education majors led small groups of fifth-graders on campus tours to build mentoring relationships and to encourage the younger scholars to pursue their dreams for the future. The experience also helps the future teachers hone their own skills with instructing and educating young scholars.

Children toured the book stacks in the Richardson Library, experienced classroom technology, and participated in a lunch-time performance with the HSU Spurs Dance Team.

“Getting to see what goes on at a university campus truly does motivate our students as we encourage them to think about their lives just a few years from now,” said Zamora.

“The HSU Irvin School of Education has a strong partnership with Bonham through our Teacher Preparation Program and a reading summer camp,” said Collins. “This is a way we can extend that partnership.”

Children had an opportunity to eat in the university student center, tour the various schools and colleges on the campus, and see residence halls firsthand.

“They also visited the artifacts held in the HSU Cowboy Band Hall and discussed the more visible spots on campus like HSU’s Shelton Stadium, the Brand Swimming Pool, the Lou Morris Ellis President’s home, and the many other special places on the Forty Acres,” said Collins.



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