A Christian Liberal Arts University, Est. 1846

More than 1,100 Jay School Children Visit Campus

  • Published: Sep 18, 2015 2:15PM

More than 1,100 schoolchildren from neighboring Jay County visited the Taylor University campus for Walk Into My Future, a partnership between Taylor University’s Education Department and the Jay (County) School Corporation

The children were in grades K-3, and visited Taylor’s campus on four consecutive mornings from September 21 – 24. Jay officials approached Taylor about hosting the visits in connection with a local initiative, Jay County Promise.

Each day, the children participated in a campus tour, took part in classroom activities and Zumba exercises, ate a sack lunch, and received TU gifts and a piggy bank. Each element of these visits were coordinated and conducted by education faculty and students and supported by the Admissions Office.  

School and state officials also took part in the visits including:

  • Dr. Tim Long, Superintendent of Jay Schools  
  • Jeremy Gulley, Director of Teacher Effectiveness  
  • Kevin Mahan (R) District 31 Representative, Indiana House of Representatives  
  • Rusty Inman, Executive Director, The John Jay Center for Learning  
  • Bill Bradley, Director , Jay County Economic Development Corporation 
  • Jane Ann Runyon, Executive Director, Jay County United Way  
  • Doug Inman, Executive Director, The Portland Foundation 

According to information from the Jay County School Corporation, only 48% of Jay County graduates go on to any post-secondary education (college or vocational training). The Jay County Promise is one among many initiatives to address this challenge.

The Portland Foundation, The John Jay Center for Learning and many community and business leaders, have pledged $70,000 to match family contributions to our kids' college savings accounts.

"It is amazing how the Education Department of Taylor University and the Administration embraced our Walk Into My Future field trip. It is great to see educators, families and community leaders gather on such a beautiful and welcoming college campus to celebrate and support the dreams and aspirations of our kids. Taylor was a natural choice for our visit, it's close, small and safe, with values that reflect our community,” said Jeremy Gulley, Director of Teacher Effectiveness for the Jay School Corporation.

"The Walk Into My Future event helped kids experience college, and for many of them, it was their first time on campus,” Gulley added. “The experiences they had at Taylor will be a lasting memory for these kids as they continue on their path to higher education someday. Even though they might be the first in their families to attend college, now they know college is a real place, and it’s achievable."

“The entire Taylor community was so excited for this opportunity to host the elementary students from Jay County schools,” said Dr. Ben Hotmire, Assistant Professor of Education at Taylor. “It was such an honor to be able to welcome them to Taylor’s campus so they could see what a college experience might be about — to see the buildings, to experience the crowds and groups of college students, and to just get a feel for the atmosphere of a college campus. This place is home to so many of us. It's a launching pad for our students' goals, and it's our hope that the students arrive from Jay County got a sense of how a college degree can empower them to do great things and dream big dreams.”