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DeSoto Participates in College Colors Day...
Dr. Cade Brumley
When I see someone wearing clothes of a particular college or university, my brain often tells me they’re a fan of a particular sports team – like, say, LSU Tiger Football. Even without the presence of sports wording or art on a shirt, others make that same sports-related connection. Comments such as “that was a great win last Saturday” or “I can’t believe he missed that field-goal” are not out of the ordinary when someone is wearing college apparel. Recently, I also noticed that very young children, through learned behaviors, do the exact same thing. I’m a sports fan too, but I felt professionally compelled to bring some degree of academic substance to college apparel.
The last segment of our district’s mission statement charges us to “…celebrate their graduation as citizens prepared to transform their dreams into realities.” It’s my desire that every DeSoto Parish Student, from this year’s class of 2015 down to our class of 2028, will graduate ready to enter a high-wage job or prepared for a successful college career. I believe it’s important, from an early age, to begin conversations with students regarding college careers. To achieve that, we’re doing many different things in our district. This year for example, on August 29th, we held a district-wide event called College Colors Day.
Across the parish, students were encouraged to wear college apparel of their choice. The clothes were a tool to engage students in dialogue and activities about that particular college. Elementary students may have learned what colleges actually are, middle grades students may have researched college locations, and high school students may have studied areas of study offered by various colleges. Students were engaged in many different activities to promote an understanding of college. Many of our educators wore the college colors of their alma mater; this provided an opportunity to share some of their experiences while at college and the opportunities their degree has afforded them.
“Career connections began to turn into future dreams as students were encouraged to dream big about the college they plan on attending and about whom they want to be when they grow up,” said Brandon Burback, Principal of North DeSoto Upper Elementary. “Our students begin to enlarge their own vision of how their dreams can impact the world.”
“College days have made the students more aware of choices they have after graduation,” said Carolyn Phillips, Principal at Stanley School. “Since we serve all grades, even our little ones are now talking about going to college. We just keep encouraging them to keep their dreams alive.”
I realize that some may think “College Colors Day” is a silly thing for a school district to do. However, we’re creating an awareness of opportunities for students beyond the DeSoto Parish School District. Maybe, students will soon see a Northwestern State University Demon shirt and think about their excellent programs in education or nursing. Possibly, when students see a Louisiana Tech Bulldog hat they’ll be reminded of an excellent engineering program. Conceivably, an LSU Tiger jacket may prompt a student to consider their outstanding biology program. I know it’s a stretch – but isn’t stretching the abilities of our students to know more, do more, and become more what we’re supposed to be doing as professional educators?
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