On January 26-28, 2024, students in grades 5-8 from across the Gulf States Conference gathered with excitement for Bass Memorial Academy’s annual Education Fair.
The Fair offered students the opportunity to experience life at Bass Memorial Academy (BMA) by taking classes, participating in extracurricular activities and making friends with fellow middle school students from different Conference schools while interacting with the high school students at BMA.
For Jillian Mullikin, mother of a student in attendance, the two-day event was a blessing. “I love the exposure. It is so wonderful that they get to interact with the high school kids that are here and meet the other middle school kids to socialize with them and to form friendships…I think it's a wonderful idea. I think the children really have a lot of fun, and the exposure is just great.”
During their time on campus, students were offered a range of classes and activities, as explained by Scott Bowes, VP for Education at the Gulf States Conference.
Visiting students “get to take classes and participate in activities like gymnastics, choir and drama. Then we do Bible monologues. Also, all of the students do history projects, and we finish off with a fun evening. They all get to perform with the Bass Memorial choir, drama club and gymnastics team. And then on Monday, we come back together again for an academic bowl and a spelling bee.”
One of the benefits of the two-day event, alongside getting to know Bass Memorial Academy’s campus and students, is having the opportunity to learn and have fun with the connections that are made with fellow visiting students.
According to Heather Hauffe, Principal at Pensacola Junior Academy, one of the main features is getting “to connect with other kids with similar beliefs, to see that there's more out there than just their small school. They get to come and see the Academy, interact with some of the older students at the Academy and learn skills from them. It's an experience that most kids don't get so it's really a unique thing and a privilege to be here.”
MeKeishia McGhee, parent of one of the students in attendance, also appreciated the efforts of the organizers noting, “this is my first time coming with my son and just to see them interact with each other and enjoy one another and learn different things, I think it's a great adventure for them, [and] it's important.