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  • Alyssa Kornacki

Freshmen keep getting younger!

Canisius College hosts a summer camp for Buffalo youths on campus over the summer.

By: Alyssa Kornacki, Contributor

Those on campus this summer may have seen some young children exploring the campus, and getting their first glance at what life might look like inside of Canisius University. This was through a partnership with Say Yes Buffalo, a nonprofit organization that aids in supporting education and limiting economic barriers for youth in Buffalo.

The School of Education and Human Services at Canisius University hosted a free summer camp with 25 students from Buffalo public schools and charter schools in the area. The camp occurred from July 10 to Aug. 18.

The third floor of Old Main was transformed into the camp space, and the program expanded to several different areas on campus. This included visits to check out books at the Andrew L. Bouwhuis Library, playing lawn games in the Quad, and visiting the new fish tank in Dr. Field’s office on the first floor of Old Main.

The grade levels of the students who participated in the camp ranged from pre-kindergarten to sixth grade. They will be attending various schools within the Buffalo area during the 2023-2024 school year.

Many of the students are residents of the Hamlin Park neighborhood of Buffalo, which is located within the surrounding perimeter of the Canisius community. They attend schools such as the Early Childhood Center, Roosevelt Elementary School, and the Harvey Austin Elementary School.

These children may one day become future Griffs, but for now they received all the benefits of being a college student on campus, blissfully unaware of the chaos that the collegiate lifestyle has in store.

Each student has such a unique personality, something that was evident during each week of the program. When they were asked about their prospective careers, their answers ranged from future roles as teachers, doctors or professionals who work with animals. Many of them even went on to say that they wished to attend Canisius one day.

Every morning, they were welcomed on campus with a smile by Canisius alumni and current students who serve as teachers and aides in their camp classrooms. Throughout their camp day, they received free breakfast and lunch as well.

Students experienced many different interactions on campus. These types of learning opportunities included reading, tutoring and math instruction, as well as completing STEAM challenges and creating summer camp crafts. They even got the chance to prepare snacks in the dorm kitchens.

Canisius also offers a Say Yes scholarship for students who attend Buffalo schools or charter schools within the region. With the scholarship, prospective accepted students with high academic achievement and financial needs can apply.

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