Parents who share the college experience with their children may be passing on an enthusiasm for learning.
On March 16, students at Central Oregon Community College brought their youngsters to the campus library for some family fun. As a part of the Paw Prints program, kids and their families took part in story time, art activities, live guitar and singing with volunteer students and faculty.
In addition to the activities, library staff was on hand with laptops to assist students with end of the term projects, but children were not to be left unattended.
The event was a collaboration between COCC’s Early Childhood Education department and the Barber Library staff, said ECE program director Amy Howell.
“Our goal was to have a place to get support for finals week,” Howell said “a place where families can have some fun together.”
This was the first of three events at COCC in 2013. Howell hopes programs like Paw Prints will lead to a more child-friendly atmosphere on campus, something she feels can benefit both students and their children.
“It’s important for children to see their parents as lifelong learners,” Howell said. “There are great benefits that we have not explored as a campus community.”
Deseray Duncan is a student at COCC and mother of two who knows the challenges families face when balancing school and family life.
“There is definitely a role conflict,” Duncan said. “I’m a mom. I’m a student. I’m an employee. Trying to balance all of that is difficult.”
Like Howell, Duncan sees importance in exposing children to the efforts toward higher education.
“It’s important to emphasize college to them,” Duncan explained, “even when they are so young.”
Duncan is working toward become a teacher herself.
By exposing children to college at a young age, parents are demonstrating the concept of dedication, Duncan said.
“I see it [in my daughter] when I volunteer in her class.”