MOUNT VERNON — For a quarter of a century, Kenyon College students have volunteered their time to mentor gifted elementary pupils in the Knox County schools. Mentors and mentees work together for about an hour a week for 10 weeks to explore a topic and prepare a project presentation. The culminating activity is a Kenyon Mentorship Tea where the presentations are made to family, friends and others in the mentorship program.
The 2010 fall mentorship tea was held Thursday evening at the Knox County Educational Service Center and featured pupils from Centerburg, Danville and Fredericktown elementary schools. Topics ranged from animals to World War II and the presentation formats included narratives, plays, reports, demonstrations and a movie.
Centerburg second-grader Faith Langdon was a princess and her Kenyon mentor Kali Greff was a prince in their performance of Langdon’s version of “The Princess and the Prince.”
Abbie Miller and Olivia Kelly, Centerburg third-graders, with the assistance of Kenyon mentor Anna Wilhelm, gave safety tips related to storms and natural disasters and used a model to show how volcanoes erupt.
“The Titanic” was the topic chosen by Centerburg third-graders Macy Burke and Zoe Webb. They, along with Kenyon mentor Susannah Green, discussed the ship’s structure, its passenger manifest and the casualties as well as the survivors of its encounter with an iceberg.
Kenyon’s Heather Amato mentored Chloe Merriman and Madeline Elfrink, both Centerburg fourth-graders. Elfrink talked about her paternal German and Dutch heritage, and displayed a pair of wooden shoes worn by her great-grandfather. Merriman discussed ancient Egypt and the process of mummification.
Different animals were featured in a play format when Danville first-graders Camie Newbold and Sidney Lyons were joined by Kenyon mentor Jen Brown on stage. They gave information about animals such as leopards, warthogs and butterflies.
The mystery of why flamingoes stand on one leg was revealed when Danville second-grader Karley Ackert and Kenyon mentor Lindsay Watts talked about different types of birds.
Danville fifth-grader Mia Alberts and Kenyon mentor Amelia Lavin gave a brief history of the fashion design industry and mentioned some famous designers and their philosophies.
Fredericktown first-grader Jason Herbst and his mentor Brielle Giamini learned “All About Horses.”
Favorite recipes, many with chocolate as an ingredient, were compiled into “Riley [Woodell] and Cole’s [Bartsch] Delicious Cookbook.” Those two Fredericktown first-graders were mentored by Anna Simpson.
Kenyon mentor Sarah Marnell helped Fredericktown second-graders Wyatt Strong and Emma Stokes learn a lot about “Insects in My Backyard.”
The audience was asked to participate when Gwenneth Sparks, Fredericktown, grade two, gave a presentation called “Interactive Book Mystery.” Her mentors were Jenny Villanueva and Mike Mpitsos.
Who does what in the creation of an animated series came to light when Fredericktown third-grader Michael Herbst gave his presentation. His mentor, Nick Kessler, also worked with Fredericktown third-grader Elijah Halterman, who researched the history of baseball.
Kelsey Boeshart, Fredericktown, grade three, talked about catapults, then launched several marshmallows at her mentor Allison Lembo.
A movie about a ninja master and novice included snappy dialogue, action sequences and music. It was written, produced and performed by Fredericktown third-graders Morgan Spitler and Terry Kennedy with the assistance of Kenyon mentor Nick Sprague.
Anthony Caputo, Fredericktown fifth-grader, stumped the audience with several of the questions he used in his World War II board game. He and his mentor Dan Druffel also presented a number of narrative stories related to World War II.
The Kenyon Mentorship Program is a collaborative effort of the Knox County Educational Service Center and the Off-campus Activities Program in Psychology of Kenyon College, and is coordinated by John Jurkowitz, ESC, and Kenyon students Kali Greff and Jen Brown.