Education | Oregon

'College Day' Gets Elementary Kids On University Path

OPB | Oct. 25, 2013 4:54 p.m. | Updated: Oct. 28, 2013 9:46 a.m.

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Students at Alder Elementary hear from a current college student from Concordia University.

Students at Alder Elementary hear from a current college student from Concordia University.

Amanda Peacher / OPB

An elementary school in East Portland had special guests on campus Friday. Representatives from six local colleges and universities visited as part of Alder Elementary’s “College Day.”

Students gathered for a rally in the school gym where each class shouted, in unison, the year they will graduate from college … If all goes according to plan.
 
The organization I Have a Dream has adopted the school – with the goal that 100-percent of its students will graduate from high school – and that 80-percent will continue their education after high school.
 
I Have A Dream provides tutors, mentors and other family support services through the year.
 
Shyvonne Williams is the program manager. She says the idea is to create systemic change in this high-poverty community.
 
“We want all our kids and our families to have economic independence so we think the earlier we start to inspire our dreamers to dream big, the better,” says Williams.
 
Alder is the second-highest poverty school in Oregon and the first in the country to be adopted by I Have A Dream.

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