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January 31, 2014

Starting young: Columbia students tour IUK

College program for fifth-graders relaunched

(Continued)

Fauleen Lucero, music teacher at Columbia Elementary School, has been working to develop the curriculum for the fifth graders in the “Gotta Go” program. She is working to get students to think about what careers they might be interested in.

“Even in kindergarten you can ask students what they want to be,” Lucero said. “That’s what kids do — they dream about what they want to be. I want to help them see it’s possible.”

The decision to start teaching students about college at a young age was meant to help them have the understanding and knowledge they need before middle school and high school, when they need to start making decisions about life after high school, Loposser said.

Loposser said it’s important students understand they need to work on their grades and also understand there are ways to make college possible through opportunities like the 21st Century Scholars tuition program.

Lucero agreed. The sooner students talk about what they want to do, the sooner they can start developing, thinking ahead and making goals for themselves, she said.

“I start by telling students they have to have a job and going to college is a way to go and specialize in something you want to do,” Lucero said. “I then tell them how I love my job and explain to them they don’t have to hate their job.”

The “Gotta Go” program will continue each year with visits to Ivy Tech and IUK.

“We want them to understand overall what the college experience is and we want them to know it is attainable,” Loposser said. “We’re so grateful Sen. Head and Rep. Friend made it possible.”

Amie Sites is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5117 or amie.sites@pharostribune.com. Follow her: @PharosAES.

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