Kids2College March 20-22 will bring 1,000 sixth-graders to MCC-Penn Valley

At the 2017 Kids2College event, sixth-graders got their hands dirty during a graphic arts activity.

Every sixth-grader in Kansas City Public Schools is about to get a taste of college life.

About 1,000 KCPS sixth-grade students will visit the Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley campus Tuesday-Thursday, March 20-22, as part of Kids2College, a national initiative to inspire a “college-going culture” among young people.

The two-hour visits — either 9-11 a.m. or noon-2 p.m. at Penn Valley — will include a campus tour with stops at three sessions. Students in the MCC/KCPS Early College Academy at Penn Valley are organizing two of the sessions, which include robotics and theater activities. A session in the gymnasium will offer a look at career programs such as art, graphic design, early childhood education, nursing and surgical technology.

“Kids2College is an opportunity for these young students to have a college-going experience, to realize there is a college right in their backyard that’s affordable and offers a quality education,” says Terrell Tigner, MCC-Penn Valley’s associate dean of student development.

“It should really get their minds turning about what college is and make it known they can attend and be successful.”

KCPS Superintendent Dr. Mark Bedell has made it a top priority to ensure that every student is ready to achieve their college and career goals by high school graduation.

This is the fifth year MCC-Penn Valley has hosted the event. The sixth-graders will leave the campus with certificates, a packet of information about MCC programs and a letter to parents about the Kids2College experience.

Prior to their campus visits, the students will take part in Kids2College lessons led by school counselors. The classroom activities reinforce the importance of setting students’ sights on college.

Kids2College was launched in 1992 by the Sallie Mae Fund, which provides the curriculum free of charge to educational partners across the country. The program “uses the prism of career aspirations to expose low-income and minority sixth-grade students to the value and accessibility of a higher education.”

The Sallie Mae Fund’s mission is to increase college access for America’s students. The charitable organization is sponsored by student loan company Sallie Mae.