Students in the Kent County Middle School Achieving Academic Equity and Excellence for Black Boys mentoring program visit a recording studio and learn about music opportunities at Washington College as part of a campus tour Friday, Jan. 27.
CHESTERTOWN — Kent County Middle School students in a special mentoring program got a behind-the-scenes look at college life late last month.
On Jan. 27, students in the middle school's Achieving Academic Equity and Excellence for Black Boys (AAEEBB) program took a field trip to Washington College.
This is the second year for the AAEEBB program organized by Kent County Middle School Principal Dr. Angela Holocker.
The mentoring program here began as a pilot for the state. It is part of a targeted effort to improve the school experience and educational outcomes of Black male students in Maryland.
Tyray Johnson, an instructional assistant, has worked with Kent County Middle School students as a mentor since the program's launch. This year he was named the AAEEBB program coordinator.
On their visit to Washington College last month, Johnson and the AAEEBB students got the full rundown on campus life.
"It was an all-around great day for our boys," Johnson said. "Students got to experience and learn about life on campus as a college student and the importance of education and earning scholarships."
The AAEEBB students were treated to a behind-the-scenes look at a wide range of opportunities offered at the college including theatre arts and music and basketball and other sports.
"Field trips like these give our students a chance to not only learn about college life and experiences, but also expand their knowledge and understand the importance of getting a good education and how it applies to our everyday lives," Johnson said.
Also joining them on the tour was a special guest: Kent County Board of Education member Aretha Dorsey.
The AAEEBB program brings mentors in to work with students at the middle school and Kent County High School.
Participants have organized food drives and other activities.
Field trips have also been an important part of the program.
In the fall they visited the African American Museum in Philadelphia and last winter they went to see Kent County High School alum and basketball standout Manny Camper play in a professional game.
"Field trips provide students with a chance to get to know each other better, bond and build a brotherhood that can last a lifetime," Johnson said. "That in turn helps them resolve conflicts with each other and leads them in becoming better responsible young men."