April 12, 2024

What is KinderCaminata?


Each year through a college-wide collaborative effort, kindergarten children, teachers and parents visit the college to learn about college and careers.

Proudly, over 200 Fullerton College faculty, students, staff, and administrators volunteer each year to make this event a success!

The goal of KinderCaminata is to provide a college experience that helps children and their families realize that a college education and career preparation are a possibility for their family.

As kindergarten children get off their bus, they are met with welcome cheers from Fullerton College students and given colorful visors. Student Campus Tour guides escort each of the groups around campus to various career stations (interactive workshops and demonstrations.)

This year we expect to have over 45 different college career stations and demonstrations.

In the career stations, children participate in interactive learning experiences and activities. Fullerton College faculty and student clubs make learning come alive by hosting career stations such as Psychology – It’s All About the Brain, Biology – What Colors Are in My Candy? and Engineering & Technology Club – Builders of Tomorrow. Native American music and dancing takes place along with face-painting, obstacle course runs and a diving demonstration by So Cal Divers. Throughout the morning, the campus is alive with the sounds of learning!

A History of KinderCaminata

Since 1995 KinderCaminata has been proudly hosted by Fullerton College every year.

The KinderCaminata experience was founded in 1993 by Galal Kernahan and the Los Amigos of Orange County (a service organization dedicated to enhancing opportunities in the community) to celebrate the life and accomplishments of Cesar Chavez. The event is traditionally scheduled on or near Cesar Chavez Day on March 31st.

Fullerton College has hosted a KinderCaminata event for 25 years since its first event in 1995. Other community colleges in the state host similar KinderCaminata events, including Santa Ana & Cypress Colleges. Dr. Christine Lamm, Professor of Child Development and Education Studies (CDES), took charge of the KinderCaminata event in 1996 and was an active advocate for the importance of introducing children to college early in their educational journey.

With the help of CDES Professors Neva Root, Sharon Deleon, Thomas Chairomonte, Patti Green, Ethnic Studies professor Adela Lopez and many others, developed KinderCaminata into what it is today. After the death of Dr. Lamm in 2013, Diana Kyle, professor of Psychology, took over as event coordinator to ensure the event’s success and continuation for the future. Currently KinderCaminata continues to be a faculty-led project with the assistance of a part-time event coordinator.

Funded primarily through the Student Equity Fund and personal donations by faculty to buy supplies, KinderCaminata quickly became an important yearly educational field trip for kindergarten classes in local school districts. In 2013 after Dr. Christine Lamm retired and subsequently passed away, the KinderCaminata event was institutionalized by Fullerton College President, Dr. Rajen Vurdien. Interim President Greg Shulz is committed to providing institutional support to continue this important tradition at Fullerton College for many years to come.

Instilling the Importance of Education

The KinderCaminata experience is in honor of César Chávez, an important person in United States history that has made a positive difference in the lives of all children and families living in California.

“¡Sí, se puede!” (Yes, you can!), is Chávez’s motto and has been the theme of KinderCaminata since the beginning in 1994. The primary goal is to plant the seeds of education at its earliest stages.

This county-wide program provides an interactive experience for kindergartners, their teachers, and families. Kindergartners are inquisitive, eager learners and during their first year of formal education they learn about their community and the many jobs and occupations needed to support the community.

It is never too early to instill the importance of a good education and staying in school to reach their dreams and goals. It is important to let students know early in their education that college can be a realistic part of their future – that college is for everyone and the path to future success!

How can I Help?

Volunteer Now!

We need at least 200 individual student, staff and faculty volunteers to help prepare materials beforehand and assist during the event. We need at least 50 faculty, academic and student services departments and/or student clubs to host interactive Career Stations.

All individual student volunteers must participate in a Volunteer Orientation & Training Session. Go online using the Sign Up button below for dates and times. Some classes with Service Learning requirements may arrange training during class time. Sample volunteer roles and tasks include:

  • Kinder Buddy (Leading groups)
  • Floater/Greeter
  • Activity Station Supporter

Volunteer Sign Up

Activity Station Sign-Up

Sign up to host an activity station, the deadline to sign up is on Friday, March 17. Activity stations are used to provide students the opportunity to be a college student for the day. The stations should be set up with a STEM or “Sí Se Puede!” (“Yes, you can!”) theme that matches a hands-on activity that is related to careers, college success skills, or an area of study at Fullerton College. Activity stations should last no more than 12 minutes and must accommodate about 30 students. Activity stations must be age appropriate and accessible to all students.

Thank you for your interest!

Volunteers are positive roles models and are what makes KinderCaminata come alive for thousands of young children.

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