K-grams builds a strong community of learning for a wide range of college and elementary students, staff and families by developing positive relationships and experiences that extend beyond the classroom. Short for "Kids Programs," K-grams is a Housing-sponsored student organization that pairs college and elementary school students through a suite of mentoring programs and activities.
K-grams pen pal program pairs over 1,000 college students with elementary students from nine schools in Southeastern Michigan for monthly letter exchanges. The pen pal program is available exclusively to college students who are residents in one of the residence halls and Greek houses on the U-M's campus. Giving residents an opportunity to interact with outside communities, K-grams helps college students create a sense of pride and community in their residence halls. Through letter writing parties, residence hall socials, mentoring, classroom projects and other special programs, residents are encouraged to have fun and get involved within their hall.
The highlight of the year-long program is the K-grams Kids-Fair, where elementary school pen pals, college students, parents, teachers and faculty fill U-M's Cliff Keen Arena and Intramural Sports Building to celebrate a year of friendship and learning. Kids-Fair is the single largest student-run volunteer event on campus. Elementary school pen pals spend an entire day with college buddies; participate in hundreds of activities sponsored by over 100 student organizations; and experience different highlights of college in one day!
BookMARK (Mentoring And Reading with Kids) is a mentoring and reading program coordinated by K-grams. College students visit elementary school classrooms on a weekly basis to work with K-5 students, helping them with reading, writing and other special assignments. This program welcomes everyone on campus to participate. Organized into daily sessions, BookMARK takes place Monday through Friday at different times during the day. As determined by the BookMARK Coordinators and teachers, each session is set up differently. While many sessions involve volunteers working one on one with students, some sessions include working in groups and facilitating group activities as well.
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