From Bensonhurst to Berkeley, via Skype

Fourth-graders from Brooklyn’s Bensonhurst Elementary School got a taste of college life last week, thanks to a rare chance to pick the brains of UC Berkeley students via Skype.

Berkeley students, with elementary-schoolers on Skype

Berkeley students (from left) Safeena Leila Mecklai, Riley O’Brien and Kasey Garrett pose with a Skype screen of excited Brooklyn elementary-schoolers. (Christian Collins/NewsCenter photo)

The call was part of the school’s College Partnership Plan, which invites universities to “adopt” a classroom to give students at the school — also known as P.S. 247 — insights into college life. The partnership between Berkeley and P.S. 247 began last year.

Berkeley students Safeena Leila Mecklai, Riley O’Brien and Kasey Garrett, all tour guides for the campus, spoke to the fourth-graders for about 45 minutes, answering questions about everything from their favorite classes to sports to how they get along with their roommates.

Back in Brooklyn, teacher Erin Volsario reported the students “had a great time,” noting that one had convinced his mother to reschedule a doctor’s appointment so he could participate.

“This is something that will only happen once in my life,” he said.