Lois Barney

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Lois Barney

Austin Road Elementary

ARE Jaguars set out on an ambitious goal to collect four hundred college and career t-shirts from colleges across the nation. We kicked-off the new school year with a tailgate experience for our scholars to begin planting seeds toward a positive growth mindset and to promote college and career goals for their future. We strongly believe students are never too young to start meaningful conversations about their future. Who would have imagined the “Connectivity” we would establish through this project?  With the assistance of partners, from various colleges near and far, we were able to give students in Pre-K through fifth grade a college or career t-shirt. Curriculum night allowed teachers to share learning goals, grade level expectations and award our scholars with their very own college t-shirt. The buzz, from students and parents, was amazing! We heard students saying “Do I get to keep the shirt? , What college are you going to? My granddaddy was in the Air Force? and I’m going to college?” We heard one sweet five-year old tell another student he was going to college, and his classmate was going to the same college because she was wearing the same shirt.” How cute is this? Students wear their shirts each Friday and it serves as a consistent reminder to dream big. Parents expressed their gratitude for our efforts to invest in the success of our students, but the story doesn’t end there. Our teachers made connections to curriculum standards. For example, a group of third grade students identified the Georgia region where their college is located, set goals, and wrote personal narratives about their future dreams. Our fifth grade students will participate in a local college tutor. After reflecting on all of these success, we would say, "Mission Accomplished". We developed relationships with all stakeholders, which resulted in Connectivity at its Greatest!