College Prep In Kindergarten

New Haven is on its way to become the first city in Connecticut and  one of the first in the nation to adopt a comprehensive pre-K to 12th grade college-going curriculum.

Emily Byrne, director of the the college scholarship program, New Haven Promise is trying to instill college going ambitions at all ages.

The New Haven Promise aims to be a catalyst for reduction in high school dropouts, crime, and incarceration; an increase in high school graduates, quality of life, and homeownership; and a culture of college- and career-readiness, high expectations, and hope for  young people and the city of New Haven.

The programs aim to complement New Haven Promise, which will offer up to a free ride to in-state colleges for New Haven public school kids who keep up good behavior and grades. The program, backed by Yale and the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, issued 110 partial scholarships last year.

New Haven’s pre-K to 12 program is being paid for by private donations, including $2 million from Yale-New Haven Hospital and $300,000 from Wells Fargo Bank. The money supports College Summit’s contract with the school district, which was $290,000 in the first year and up to $650,000 in future years.

Students in every pre-K to 8th-grade classroom will start a college-going journal this month, in which they will keep notes on a series of college-themed activities over the year. Also, teachers are encouraged to arrange a visit to college campuses for even the pre-K to 3rd grade group. Kindergarteners will take virtual tours of college campuses.

I applaud the efforts to get young kids excited about continuing education and better opportunities.

But is this too much too soon? I don’t remember much from Preschool or Kindergarten, but it seems like at this age, kids should be more focused on finger painting and farting.

I am all for encouraging kids to pursue higher education. However, must college prep activities be shoved down the youths’ throats so early?

Don’t they have 12 years to harvest and encourage an interest in college life?

Hey, I know…instead of making the kids watch boring virtual campus tours, how bout  re-playing the butt whipping LSU gave Oregon in the Cowboys Classic football game?!

Or start teaching the kids college fight songs!

Really, it doesn’t take much to excite children about college. Wait till they’re in like 10th grade and do a college simulation day. Allow students to sleep in, eat pizza for breakfast, chat and socialize with friends, and party all night.

After that, I guarantee the high school sophomores will be signing up left and right to take the SATs.

I had a great college experience.

My boys are surrounded by subtle hints of my college experience such as my incessant LSU chants, merchandise, LSU is the greatest school in the land speeches, and SEC football on Saturdays.

And of course, I am a shining example of the benefits of a college education 🙂

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