WES-Partnership About Us

Williamstown Elementary and Williams Partnership

Program Co-Coordinator, Geraldine Shen

Williams Elementary Outreach Director, Jennifer Swoap

What is it?

For over 20 years, Williams College has run programs at Williamstown Elementary School (WES) in Science and supporting other curricular areas. Our offerings have grown to encompass programs including reading, math, recess, homework, classroom, and some specialist support. Programs are conceived of, piloted, and adjusted at the suggestion of WES teachers and administrators, who best understand the needs of children at the school, and administered by staff from the Williams College Center for Learning in Action (CLiA). In typical semesters, over 80 Williams students work throughout the entire school in ongoing programs, dedicated to the socio-emotional and academic growth of WES students. Representing a diverse range of backgrounds, interests, and strengths, the Williams students employed at the school through the WES–Williams Partnership add to the rich tapestry of the WES community.

Ongoing Programs

After School Tutoring: one-on-one or small group tutoring of 5th and 6th grade students, sessions offered 3-4 times a week, under supervision of WES teacher(s) (currently Mrs. Stricker and Ms. Kowalchyk)

Big Siblings: individual Williams students paired with WES “Little Siblings,” meeting at school on a weekly basis to develop a close non-academic mentoring relationship

Classroom Helpers: Williams students assigned to a specific classroom to help classroom teacher however needed. Classroom Helpers get to know students well, and benefit from mentoring from their classroom teacher

Science Fellows: pairs of Williams students assist with hands-on projects and experiments in K-2nd grades’ science learning

WES Buddies: Williams students join WES students in the cafeteria and on the playground during recess to facilitate positive interactions and play


Co-Curricular, Field Studies, and Additional Programming

Adventures in Learning: after school enrichment classes for 2nd-5th graders that meet weekly in January, taught primarily by Williams College volunteer teachers, and run by Geraldine Shen from CLiA, Williams College student Program Assistants, and an on-site WES teacher

BioEyes: teams of Williams College students teaching 3rd graders about zebrafish as part of Williams College’s January Winter Study Program

Hopkins Forest Field Trips: Williams students help to develop field trip curricula and host field trip groups at Williams College’s Hopkins Memorial Forest, under the guidance of Hopkins Memorial Forest Manager Drew Jones

The WES-Williams Partnership also allows for one time visits by Williams students or professors for events or field trips such as Law Day (Williams College Law Society), Read Across America Day (Questbridge Scholars), and Brain Awareness Week (Psychology Professor and Students), ’66 Center for Environmental Science, and more.

We are so glad to help foster connections between WES and Williams College students and have heard time and again from all involved about the meaningful relationships formed through this partnership. We hope your child(ren) will enjoy their time working with Williams students this year, and encourage you to get in touch to share ideas and questions!


Geraldine Shen