Kindergarteners Get College Pep Talk on Day One

Check out the New Haven Independent's coverage of the story here.
NHPS press release on the story below:
August 30, 2012
Abbe Smith
NHPS Director of Communications
203-497-7015, 203-676-0463
Superintendent Mayo, New Haven Promise Director Melton talk to kids about the importance of working hard in school, thinking about college
NEW HAVEN – Future graduates of the Class of 2025 took their first steps toward bright futures today when they walked into kindergarten at the newly opened Quinnipiac School and got a pep talk about going to college.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Reginald Mayo and New Haven Promise Executive Director Patricia Melton joined Quinnipiac Principal Grace Nathman in welcoming students into the classroom on the first day of kindergarten for the district. The leaders talked to the children about exciting college scholarships available to them through the New Haven Promise and highlighted for the media the Pathway to Promise program, a preK-8 college-focused curriculum launched last year. Then kindergarteners engaged in a fun classroom exercise called “Step Up into the Future” and were encouraged to talk about college.
“It’s never too soon to talk to our children about the importance of going to college. Pathway to Promise gets that conversation started early and continues to build confidence in our students and an understanding that a college education is undeniably within their reach,” Superintendent Mayo said.
“I am thrilled that New Haven Public Schools and New Haven Promise are ensuring that, as early as kindergarten, our students are hearing and talking about college,” Melton said. “New Haven Promise’s Pathway to Promise program is all about inspiring our students to dream big and giving them the tools to make those dreams come true. 
“I have always believed we need to instill in our children that the sky is limit,” said Principal Nathman. “Pathway to Promise is so important to our students because it encourages them to think about higher education.  As K-2 school, we at Quinnipiac feel extremely fortunate to have our students at the beginning of their educational career, so we can build strong academic and social skills that will make them successful community members."
Quinnipiac School re-opened this year as a kindergarten-2nd grade school for students living on the east side of the city. It is a companion school to Strong School, another K-2 school serving students on the other side of town.
Pathway to Promise, coupled with the expansion of  College Summit in the New Haven high schools, creates a comprehensive preK-12 college-going program designed to ensure that students hear about college early and often. Pathway to Promise and College Summit are integral parts of the nationally watched New Haven School Change initiative, which seeks to reduce the achievement gap and raise test scores to the state average; cut the high school dropout rate in half and ensure every student academically prepared for and financially able to go to college. 
Pathway to Promise consists of goals, key milestones and curricular activities and is a feeder program to College Summit in the high schools. College Summit, a nationally recognized nonprofit that implements college readiness programs in high schools, helps students connect the dots between college and career goals and the academic decisions they make each day.
In both Pathway to Promise and College Summit, each school and teacher has the latitude to implement the program in the way they best see fit. Both programs are based on the same five core understandings: self-advocacy, financial awareness, academic excellence, the college-to-career connection and college 101.     
Pathway to Promise is being implemented at all schools, which College Summit is currently in the following schools: Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School, Metropolitan Business Academy, Hillhouse High School, Hill Regional Career High School, Hyde Leadership Academy and New Haven Academy. The goal is to have College Summit in all schools. 
Pathway to Promise and College Summit are support programs designed to create a college-going culture in New Haven Public Schools and in the community and are funded by Yale-New Haven Hospital and Wells Fargo. New Haven Promise has two main funders: Yale University funds the scholarship and the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven covers the administration of the program.