Bensonhurst Elementary School, P.S. 247 participates in an innovative education program that partners their elementary students with college-aged students in order to discuss higher education.
University of California, Berkeley is the latest of 22 universities to take part in the program established by P.S 247. The Berkeley students are using Skype to communicate with the younger students and offering advice, anecdotes and answering questions from students. Conversations with college students have ranged from college majors to financial aid and everything in between.
“We are thrilled to have UC Berkeley join our school community and the team of impressive universities that are helping P.S. 247 fulfill our commitment to prepare our students for college and life,” said Christopher Ogno, P.S. 247’s Principal. “It is our school’s priority to provide an atmosphere year-round that helps children and their families understand the opportunities that are available to them in our society. While our school has achieved academic success, we are dedicated to ensure that our students have a direction and prepare to be college bound.”
P.S. 247 is a high-performing school, ranking above average in many city-wide categories. Also, out of 767 students, 75 percent are supported by families with incomes below the poverty line.
Every P.S. 247 student has the opportunity to take advantage of the program and eventually take a field trip to a different local college for a campus tour.
Other participating colleges include: Adelphi University; Brooklyn College; The City College of New York; Columbia University; Purchase College, University of Connecticut; New York City Wagner College, and more.
Due to the school’s commitment to college education, New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott dubbed it the “New York City College Partnership Elementary School,” according to a release on the school’s SchoolBook page.