GETTYSBURG, PA. — Fifth graders at Friends School Mullica Hill were the recipients of an extraordinary college-level learning experience.
On June 2, the students boarded a chartered bus, along with Rowan University chairman, William Carrigan, and the Student History Association of Rowan University, and headed off to historic Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The fifth graders visited major sites like the Gettysburg battlefield, The National Cemetery and the Gettysburg National Museum.
Along the way they heard academic talks by Carrigan and others on topics such as “New Jersey in the American Civil War” and “Lincoln and the True Significance of Gettysburg.”
“I have been doing this trip for many years, first with just my college students,” said Carrigan. “About seven years ago, I decided to include fifth grade students from Friends School Mullica Hill.”
Each Friends School student was paired with a college student who could field questions from the kids and stir up interest in the sites. “Most of my students are education majors, many of them early childhood or elementary education,” noted Carrigan. “I thought they would enjoy sharing the field trip with 5th graders, and it would be professionally instructive for them.”
It was an extended, information-packed day for the fifth graders, who didn’t get back to Mullica Hill until after 8 p.m., but they were enthusiastic about trip. “It was such a cool experience,” said fifth grader Vivian Ward. “We had a lot of freedom to explore Gettysburg with the college students and it made me really excited to go to college one day.”