Thanks, Brown, for a great opportunity

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 9:09pm

Brown University kicked off its 250th birthday last weekend and in its effort to include the broader Rhode Island community, seventh and eighth graders from every middle school in the state were invited to join the celebration. Students from the Block Island School took advantage of the invitation and were treated to a night at a Providence hotel so their participation could be made easier.

Founded in 1764, Brown is known for being unconventional and open-minded. It should not be surprising, then, that this Ivy League institution chose to introduce kids to the school at a particularly impressionable time of their lives. It doesn’t matter whether all or any of them ever attend Brown. As one of our own students said, who is quoted in this week’s story: “College is a good place to find the education you need to make a positive impact on the world.” We couldn’t agree more.

We read too often about how our education system is failing our students. Perhaps another problem is that our students fail to see how education affects them. Events during the celebration brought this connection alive. According to the report of the trip in this edition, it was apparent that our students gained insight into the connection between education and how they view their role in society.

Brown’s charter says that its mission is to prepare “a succession of men and women duly qualified for discharging the offices of life with usefulness and reputation.” That’s a laudable ambition for anyone. The Block Island students’ visit to Brown seemed to inspire them to become educated citizens who will want to make a positive contribution.

And so, we thank Brown University for treating young students throughout Rhode Island to this unique experience — and Happy Birthday!