Manchester University
Oak Leaves

October 7, 2016

Kids in the Court

Students playing in PERC during Walk Into My Future on Friday, Sept. 30.


Elementary Students Flood into PERC for 'Future' Event

Zoe Vorndran

Despite the gloomy, overcast weather on Friday, Sept. 30, some 2000 elementary students spilled out of bright yellow school buses to participate in the Walk Into My Future event hosted by Manchester University. The elementary students ranged from kindergarten to third grade and came from schools in Wabash and Whitley County. Contrary to the weather, the students wearing colorful Walk into my Future t-shirts were full of energy. “Whoa! MG!” exclaimed Billy, a third grader, upon walking into the PERC for the first time, his eyes popping out as he saw the activities.

Due to the uncompromising skies, all of the activity booths that were originally going to be set up outside around the mall were moved into the PERC. Packed wall to wall, the PERC pumped with energy and commotion; it echoed with loud noises as students chattered, activity leaders instructed, and music blasted. “It’s been a little chaotic, but a little chaos never hurt,” said Toni Papandrea, sophomore who worked the Literacy Council booth. The activity booths that the students walked to were lined along the outer walls of the gymnasium, while the booths requiring more space were in the middle.

Whenever the music became louder, students moved, sometimes danced, from booth to booth, participating in a variety of activities. Every booth gave children an opportunity to experience different, engaging activities. For example, at the Literacy Council booth, students helped construct a story. Similarly, at the library booth, students filled in mad libs to create silly stories. The College of Business booth allowed students to buy their own cup of lemonade and explained how a business functioned. At the football booth, activity leaders guided the students through football workouts. In the center of the gym, the children engaged in physical activities, such as bouncing a ball in the center of a massive, circular tarp and imitating different movements from the activity leader. The softball booth also gave students a chance to work their energy out, as the kids ran around the makeshift diamond. “I am tired,” said Austin Miller, a second grader, playfully. “We were running around the bases!” 

At about 11 that morning, the students settled down for a lunch break, and then at noon, after the arrival of the second group of students, President McFadden gave a speech to all of the children who attended the Walk into my Future event. The first group of students said their farewells and boarded the buses to go back to school, while the second wave of students commenced with the activities.

Overseeing all of the commotion in the gym was Alexis Young, the coordinator of Walk Into My Future. After gathering more than 200 student volunteers, inviting 2000 elementary students, and months of preparation and planning, Young and her coworkers Kim Reinoehl and Nicola Jones (Admissions) successfully managed to smoothly run the Walk Into My Future event.