More than 500 first-, second-, and third-graders from Buffalo Public School 39, Martin Luther King, and School 45 International School are attending “I Am College Bound” at Buffalo State.
“We want children to be thinking about college as early as possible,” said John Siskar, director of the Center for Excellence in Urban and Rural Education (CEURE). “Research shows that children who are aware of college at an early age are much more likely to earn a college degree.”
The “I Am College Bound” program, which is in its second year, includes academic activities, a campus tour and an on-campus lunch for the elementary school students. The students participate in various science-based activities on campus that the college professors’ tailor to the elementary teachers’ curricula. After, the students are given a tour of the campus, library, classrooms and labs. Finally, the elementary students get a chance to eat lunch with some of Buffalo State’s sports players.
“Our teachers discuss the importance of attending college regularly,” said one of the principals whose school was involved last year. “However, it is one thing to talk about college; it’s another thing to actually experience college.”
That experience makes all the difference, Siskar agrees. “We give each student an ID card that says ‘I Am College Bound,’” he said. “We hope they hold onto it until the day they have their own college ID.”
For more information, please visit http://www.buffalostate.edu/.