Friday, November 19, 2010

NG Elem. Students are "College-Bound"

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It’s official! All 591 students currently attending North Grammar Elementary School in Rio Grande City are college-bound. The school is now partnered with South Texas College through its Operation College Bound Program to ensure its students continually receive messages about college and college preparation.

“We have a lot of students whose parents did not have the opportunity to go to college and we want our students to start thinking about higher education and that high school isn’t the end of their education; we want to create a college-going environment for them,” said Ricardo Saenz, school principal. “The students are very excited about this program. It will encourage them think beyond just grade school, middle school and high school. It will encourage them to do better academically and bring their grades up.”
Students participated with STC administrators in a special STC flag raising ceremony in early November. The event included the reading of an essay by student Leonardo Garza about why he wants to attend college. The Longhorn Choir treated the crowd to the “Star Spangled Banner” and STC administrators engaged in a question and answer session with members of the school’s student council.

“The flag will fly every day, reminding students when they drive up to the school that college is in their future,” said Larry Barroso, STC coordinator of college access. “It would be great if the students choose to start their educations at STC either through dual enrollment later on in high school or attending classes at one of our campuses, but, in the end, we just want them to go to college. At STC we believe that college begins in kindergarten and it’s never too early to set students eyes on that goal.”

Through the program, students will participate in special workshops and hear from guest speakers from South Texas College. North Grammar teachers are encouraged to wear shirts featuring the names of their college alma maters and each classroom door features a sheet listing the academic credentials of each teacher. Students will wear their STC shirts once a month and will be learning about colleges across the country. Flying in the entry hall are flags from STC and colleges across the nation.

“I think of it as an exciting experience. The most fun thing about going to college will be learning new things. I want to be a doctor and I am very interested in medicine,” said fifth grader Mauricio Soto of the new program. “My friends say this is awesome and others are a little nervous, but they are happy. A lot more (kids) are going to want to go to college now. I want more students to go to college and stop wasting time.” 

For additional information about STC’s Operation College Bound Program contact Barroso at 956-872-2096 or at

Photo caption:

North Grammar Elementary kindergarten students Jaden Gonzalez and Valerie Guerra at the STC Flag Raising Ceremony in early November.

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