This summer, West Chester will see a whole new group of students when the University holds its first “Grandparents University®” from June 28 – 30. This unique collegiate learning experience is open to grandparents of all ages and their grandchildren, ages 8 to 14.
At Grandparents University® , grandparents and kids will attend college together as West Chester University “students.” For two nights and three days, students will live in the new dormitories, share meals at Lawrence Dining Hall, enroll in courses, attend classes taught by University faculty, explore campus and enjoy evening entertainment and activities. The program concludes with a Sunday graduation ceremony and family celebration complete with an awarding of diplomas to every “graduate.”
“I wanted to create a space on campus where different generations can interact and have fun,” explains the program director, Mary Braz, an assistant professor of Communication Studies. Braz modeled Grandparents University®® on a similar successful program at Michigan State University. “The program provides a way for grandparents and grandkids to spend quality time together and share memories in a fun setting promoting interactive learning and higher education,” ads Braz.
Participants can register in four out of seven courses developed by University departments especially for the program in such areas as art, theater, history, communication, physical education and science. Grandparents and their grandchildren can learn how to develop their family tree, create an oral history from their grandparents; make their own newscast; study the history of West Chester take a ghost tour of the borough and campus; study the mind and body, stars, planets and comets and DNA.
Grandparents and grandchildren also will participate in a special program called, “Night Time: Starry Nights,” presented by West Chester University astronomer Robert Thornton. Participants will be able to view the moon, planets and stars through telescopes, make comets out of frozen carbon dioxide, construct a cosmic calendar, see a planetarium show and participate in an “Ask the Astronomer” session.
On another evening, they will be entertained by New York comedian Rob Latham (a.k.a. Dr. Lanny Latham) who appears often in theatre and television shows, including “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” “The Colbert Report,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “Inside the NFL” and “The Today Show.” A member of the comedy group “Improv Everywhere,” Latham performs with “The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre ” and is featured in many print publications and online sites.
Registration for Grandparents University® is open through June 1. Registration fees cover three days and two nights of accommodations in private residence hall suites, all meals, University courses, instruction and course material (unless noted otherwise), evening entertainment and the graduation ceremony. An “early bird” registration is available through April 30, and a discount is offered to University alumni. For program information, contact Mary Braz at 610-436-3328 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 610-436-3328 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or firstname.lastname@example.org. To register, call 610-436-6931 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 610-436-6931 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or contact email@example.com. To download a brochure on the program, go to www.wcupa.edu/gpu .
Essay Contest: West Chester University is partnering with the Daily Local News on a contest where the prize may be measured in memories: free attendance for a family’s grandparents and grandchildren at Grandparents University. This unique inter-generational program is scheduled to run from June 27 to 29 on the university’s campus.
To enter, children age eight to 14 (the age range of program participants) submit an essay of 200 words or more on why they want to attend Grandparents University with their grandparents. Judges will include Andy Hachadorian, Editor of the Daily Local, Grandparents University program director Mary Braz, a communications studies professor at West Chester University, and Sandra Weisenstein, wife of West Chester University President Greg Weisenstein and grandmother to Carter 18, Hanna 16, Cameron 14, Cody 9 and Sophia 16 months. Deadline for entry is Friday, May 13. The winner will be announced on May 20 when the winning essay is published in the Daily Local News.
All essays should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the Grandparents University Essay Contest click here