Providence Formation to Hold its First Whittier “Graduation”

For Immediate Release: April 25, 2017

Contact: Marketing Office, 406.791.5306

Great Falls, Montana—The Providence Formation Program is a service learning program at the University of Providence. One of its service components is a volunteer program at Whittier Elementary School, in which University of Providence students assist in Whittier classes to promote learning and encourage youngsters to further their education.

Stephanie Schnider, director of the program, commented, “This year marks a special milestone for the third graders at Whittier Elementary. Since kindergarten, these students have had college buddies from the Providence Formation Program at the University of Providence joining them in the classroom on a weekly basis. The college buddies helped with everything from math to reading and even joined the students in the lunchroom and on the playground. After spending four years together, their college buddies are graduating from University of Providence and setting out on their own.”

To mark this milestone, University of Providence is hosting a “graduation” ceremony for the Whittier third grade students on Thursday, April 27. University of Providence President Anthony Aretz and Whittier Principal Ryan Hart will recognize the third graders, who will march across the stage and receive certificates of completion.

From 1 to 1:45 p.m. the third graders will tour the University of Providence with their college buddies and receive a lesson from a college professor. From 2 to 2:20 they will participate in the graduation ceremony in the theater building, followed by a reception in the Student Center from 2:20 to 2:45.

“Though our students are graduating, this is really an event for the Whittier Elementary third graders,” said Schnider. “We want to celebrate their accomplishments and these special relationships with our University of Providence students.”

Schnider further commented, “These relationships have been incredibly impactful not only for the students at Whittier but for the Providence Formation seniors who have been working with them for the past several years. We’re excited to celebrate this important milestone and to look toward the future as we celebrate the close of a very special chapter.”