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Friday, July 4, 2008


Hi there:

What a great day! Here is what we did....

“Seeding the Goal of College Early”

Ø Objective: To expose students to various colleges and universities and plant the seed in their minds that college is possible and attainable. This aligns with AVID’s mission which is to open access to the curricula that will ensure four-year college eligibility for students. The ultimate district goal of the Department of Postsecondary Education and Student Development in OHSP is to increase the percentage of students that graduate from CPS and go on to attend a four-year college. Currently, we have 47% of our students that go on to college. This is well below the national rate of 64%. It is the sincere belief of our CEO Arne Duncan and his team that the AVID strategies should be started as early as possible if we want to see this percentage increase. Below, is a model for a successful College Day that is recommended to all AVID elementary schools as we prepare our students to reach their highest levels.

· Each class will be assigned either individual colleges or a class-wide college to research. You could have a theme such as historically black colleges, Illinois colleges, Big 10 colleges, etc. Each college would be represented by a poster-sized information sheet about their college. It would include location, enrollment, when it was founded, majors and degree programs, sororities and fraternities, something it’s famous for, famous alumni/ae, etc. Encourage the students to find out and include as much information as they can about their college.
· On College Day display the research posters in the halls under banners for each school. The banners are available for purchase online at the school website or other sites that sell college paraphernalia. The students could also make the banners for their college.
· Invite guest speakers to come speak to each class.
Ø If your school has developed any partnerships with external partners this could be a great way for them to volunteer at the school.
Ø Former students also make great guest speakers.
Ø Teachers could go to different classes or grade levels and talk about their alma mater.
Ø Contact college representatives here in Chicago and see if someone would be available to come out to your school.
Ø The AVID team would be happy to come and share our college experiences with your students.
· Contact schools about complimentary mementos to pass out to the kids like key chains, mugs, folders, pens, etc.
· Have teachers, administration, and other staff members wear a sweatshirt from their alma Mater or any college. Encourage students to wear college sweatshirts or t-shirts that day as well.
· A great culminating activity would be to show a movie concerning the college experience such as Drum Line.
· Incorporate journal writing about why it’s important to go to college or other topics regarding future college goals.
· You might also consider other ideas such as having students make College Day buttons, giving students college posters, or awarding students who participate their own college diploma with their name on it.

If there are any other ideas you have please feel free to add them as well. College Day can become an annual event at your school as a way to plant the college seed early in your students!

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