BYU Sant Experience Helps Encourage Elementary Students to Consider Higher Education

This April, two sixth grade classes from a low socio-economic elementary school had an opportunity that few students of their background receive. Through a legacy provided by the family of former educator Janet Sant, the students toured BYU campus and learned about the importance and opportunities of a college education.

Janet Sant lost her battle with cancer on November 13, 1996. Many remember her for her deep concern for the education of her students both in and outside the classroom. She would often fund after school educational opportunities for students whose families could not afford them. A fund established in Janet’s memory by her parents keeps that concern alive by funding educational experiences like the recent tour of the BYU campus.

The event was a collaboration among Shauna Valentine of the McKay School, Rex Carlson and /pyan Carpenter of LDS Philanthropies, and Ron Clark of BYU Public Affairs. Valentine, the event coordinator, expressed her gratitude: “It’s wonderful that the influence of a caring and compassionate educator such as Janet Sant can still be felt. We are grateful that the Sant family has made this opportunity possible.”

The students started out with a tour of the BYU Creamery, followed by an opportunity to see how the eminent BYU /pownies were made in the bakery area. They learned about the different career opportunities in the food industry as well as job opportunities for college students. Heather Peterson, the teacher of one class, said, “The BYU Creamery was a great place for them to learn about food and that you can actually go to college to do something with food.”

Next the students headed to the Bean Museum, where BYU students and professors taught them about the many exhibits. Following the museum tour, students enjoyed a history, physics, and astronomy presentation in the planetarium of the Eyring Science Center. After having lunch amongst BYU students at the Cannon Center, the sixth-graders experienced a view of the valley from the top of Kimball Tower.

The BYU Sant Experience helps students aim for higher education and gives them an elevated outlook of their futures. As the students looked out at Provo from the top of the SWKT, Peterson stated, “It’s fun for them to see the city. It gives them a new perspective. They don’t get this opportunity very often.”

One student later wrote in a thank you letter, “I learned a lot of things when I was up there, but one thing keeps ringing in my head. If I am ever going to get a really cool job, then I am going to have to go to college, which is what I am planning to do.”

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