“I will be college ready!” was the resounding cheer at the Sandy school as the Class of 2028 celebrated Kindergarten College-Ready Day on Friday, Aug. 28, 2015. Now in its seventh year in Canyons School District, Kindergarten College-Ready Day gives CSD teachers and principals the opportunity to talk about college and careers with their youngest students. Some 2,500 kindergartners in 29 CSD elementary schools capped their first week of school by engaging in activities and discussions about how college can help them achieve their dreams. Each kindergartner also received a wristband imprinted with the message, "I will be college-ready ... Class of 2028."
Bell View’s morning kindergarten classes were greeted by their teachers, Colleen Eldridge and Laura Wally, who sported University of Utah and Utah State University shirts to show their college pride. The teachers talked about the symbols of their colleges, and told students that going to college helped them to achieve their dreams of becoming school teachers. The kindergartners sported vests depicting an array of careers, from an astronaut to a forest ranger, and presented their occupations to the class while they cheered, “I will be college-ready!” Students applauded Eldridge and Principal Christine Webb as they unfurled for the kindergartners their own college-ready banner. Students next week will place their painted thumbprints and signatures on the banner to display their college-ready pledge in the school’s halls.
Canyons District is focused on ensuring all students are college- and career-ready when they graduate from high school, and recognizes the importance of expressing this goal early in a child's education. Kindergarten College-Ready Day premiered in 2009, the first academic year for Utah's first voter-created school district in a century. The Canyons Board of Education in February 2010 approved an academic plan that introduced Utah’s first college- and career-ready diplomas.
How can parents help young children start thinking about and preparing for college? Here are a few tips:
- When you ask your child, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” follow up with the question, “Where do you want to go to college?”
- Visit college campuses.
- Teach organization and good homework habits.
- Remind kids that mistakes are a valuable part of learning.