The “littlesâÄù âÄî127 children in purple t-shirts âÄî traveled in packs around Coffman Union Friday during Big Brothers Big Sisters’ third annual “Big Day at the U.”
The UniversityâÄôs Big Brothers Big Sisters student group, which mentors young people in kindergarten through eighth grade, raised $2,000 and staffed the event with more than 50 volunteers and 80 âÄúbigs.âÄù Organizers held the event to get the kids excited about higher education, said Mike Marcotte of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities.
Campus groups like La Raza and the breakdancing club took part in the event, helping run activities for the kids.
Amber Dvorak, a member of the womenâÄôs basketball team, spent the morning in GoldyâÄôs Gameroom with other athletes teaching the “Minnesota Rouser” to kids that found them as part of a scavenger hunt.
âÄúTheyâÄôre learning how to spell Minnesota,âÄù Dvorak said. âÄúThe timeâÄôs been flying by.âÄù
The kids bussed to the University from eight partner schools in the Twin Cities, beginning their program at 10:30 a.m. 7 Days a capella group sang to welcome them as they arrived.
The kids’ schedule included lunch and rotations between bowling, breakdancing, a game of jeopardy and the scavenger hunt.
Big Brothers Big Sisters president Bridget Rathsack started organizing the event last summer, writing grant applications and selling t-shirts that said âÄúBig deal at the U.âÄù
Rathsack said she was happy to spend most of Friday with her little, a sixth-grader from Minneapolis with whom Rathsack has been matched with the past four years.