(One in a series of stories looking at ways in which NUSD strives to prepare students to be college and career ready, starting in early grades.)
No matter where you go at Jefferson School, the message is clear: Attend college.
College pennants in classrooms.
College pennants in the play yard.
College pennants in the main office.
Getting elementary school students to plan their future around higher education can be a journey, many years of learning, and the first step can be to persuade kids that attending college is within their grasp, it’s possible, practical – not a pipedream.
If you root for Ducks, and dress like Ducks, and talk about Ducks – you might want to be a Duck too, someday, as a student at the University of Oregon. Or a Bruin at UCLA. Or a Hornet at Sacramento State. Or an Aggie at UC Davis.
Physical Education Coach Sandra Asimos painted the huge wallboard mural this year on Jefferson’s play to display logos of 125 different colleges and universities nationwide, from UC Berkeley to Ole Miss to Oregon State University.
“The more we expose (students) to college, it plants the seed,” she said.
Principal Danisha Keeler said emphasis on college is consistent with Natomas Unified’s push to continue developing college and career readiness and culture, beginning in early grades, which is a strategic direction in NUSD’s “The Next 5” blueprint for the next five years.
Weekly “College Wednesdays” are a tradition at Jefferson. Each classroom has “adopted” a college for discussion – what the campus looks like, for example, and what degree programs are offered there. “College Wednesdays” started last year, Keeler said, but “we’re really trying to hit it hard this year.”
Jefferson’s college-logo wallboard contains the quote, “Oh, the Places We Will Go,” a reference to a book by Dr. Seuss containing a fitting quote to inspire young dreamers of big things to come for them in years ahead. Dr. Seuss wrote:
“You’re off to great places.
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So … get on your way!”