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Campus & Community

Little Dragons Inspired to Dream — and Create, and Play — at Annual Event

May 3, 2018

One child had the opportunity to touch and feel a real-life dinosaur fossil at the Academy of Natural Sciences during Drexel's Inspire a Child to Dream event.
One child had the opportunity to touch and feel a real-life dinosaur fossil at the Academy of Natural Sciences during Drexel's Inspire a Child to Dream event

Last week, you might have seen little Dragons flying around Drexel University’s University City Campus and the Academy of Natural Sciences — in case you couldn’t tell, they were the ones wearing green construction paper dragon hats, complete with a spiked “tail.”

These 142 Dragons, aged 6­–12 years old, were the children and relatives of Drexel faculty and professional staff. They spent their Thursday at the University, rather than their elementary or middle schools, to participate in educational and hands-on activities organized by different Drexel colleges, schools and departments. The reason? Inspire A Child to Dream Day, which was held on April 26 as the University’s annual take on the national “Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work®” program.

The Inspire A Child to Dream Day has been held annually on Drexel’s campus for years, with children spending most of the day learning at the University through hands-on activities. One new programming aspect introduced this year was a request for each child attending the event to bring new school supplies that would be donated to the K-8 Morton McMichael School in Mantua (faculty and staff were encouraged to donate as well). Ultimately, Dragons filled several large storage boxes with donated materials like pens, pencils, crayons, markers, coloring books, Post-it notes, paper, rulers and compasses.

On the morning of the daylong event, the children split into different groups to participate in three different activities geared toward fun and learning. They planted flowers with staff from University Facilities and Real Estate, wrote about their dream schools at the Drexel Writing Center (run by the College of Arts and Sciences' Department of English & Philosophy and shot hoops with members of the men’s basketball team, to name a few examples.

Members from Drexel’s nutrition, digital media, music industry, materials engineering and Center for Food & Hospitality programs also hosted the children for hands-on activities, as did members of departments including Public Safety, Student Life, Athletics, the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement and the LeBow College of Business. To help the event run smoothly, 55 faculty and staff members volunteered during Inspire A Child to Dream Day, chaperoning the groups of children as they explored Drexel and the Academy and aiding with the planning, preparing and registering necessary for the events to take place.

After a morning of learning and fun, the children refueled during lunch at Behrakis Hall (where they had enjoyed breakfast earlier). There, they watched and even participated in a special dance performance from Drexel’s Youth Performance Exchange Touring Ensemble, which is composed of dance majors in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design.

Afterwards, the Dragons headed to the Academy, where they solved a special scavenger hunt and attended a live animal show featuring invertebrates like a centipede, a scorpion and a tarantula.

To relive the fun that these little Dragons had while you had a full day of work, check out this photo recap: