1,200 sixth-graders coming to MCC-Penn Valley for Kids2College

Art instructor Bernadette Torres demonstrates pottery-making at the 2018 Kids2College program.

Kids2College at Metropolitan Community College’s Penn Valley campus hopes to open the eyes and expand the dreams of local sixth-graders.

Every Kansas City Public Schools sixth-grader will visit MCC-Penn Valley between Monday, March 4, and Wednesday, March 6, to take part in the sixth annual program.

The program is designed to show kids that a college education is more of a reality than they may realize.

Around 1,200 students will take part, 200 more than last year.

MCC-Penn Valley admissions coordinator Crystal Everett says the Kansas City district wants to expose sixth-graders to potential careers while reinforcing college as an educational option.

For many students this will be the first time they have set foot on a college campus.

There will be morning and afternoon sessions, each featuring hands-on activities designed to spark students’ interests. Students will work their way through six stations spread across MCC-Penn Valley. They will spend 15 minutes at each stop.

One stop will be a hands-on LEGO exhibit highlighting MCC’s College for Kids program.

Last year during Kids2College, sixth-graders were introduced to the field of surgical technology.

The allied health programs at MCC’s Health Science Institute will have a display, and MCC-Business & Technology will have a trailer that showcases”Gold Collar Jobs” along with activities the students can do. Gold Collar Jobs are career fields with good pay and high demand that require an associate degree or less.

The arts programs stop will also include a lot of hands-on experiences.

Everett says Kids2College is built around a specific message: “Here are some options for you after high school and during high school.”

She says students will also learn about MCC’s Early College Academy and how it can help them attain an associate degree by the time they graduate high school.

Along with learning about potential opportunities students will also get a tour of campus with stops at the Education Center, Enrollment Center, Campus Center and the campus gym.

“Stepping foot on a campus makes the chance of going to college seem more real,” Everett says.

Each student will walk away with a certificate,  a water bottle and hopefully a bigger dream about their future.

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.