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Media Memo: Area fifth-graders visiting UW-Eau Claire campus April 25-26

April 25, 2013

TO: News/Assignment Editors and Directors

FROM: Julie Poquette

DATE: April 25, 2013

SUBJECT: Area fifth-graders visiting UW-Eau Claire campus April 25-26

Approximately 1,700 fifth-graders from western Wisconsin are on the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus today and tomorrow for the Blugold Beginnings Tour Day.

Fifth-grade students from Alma Center-Humbird-Merrillan, Arcadia, Augusta, Black River Falls, Bloomer, Chippewa Falls, Eleva-Strum and Fall Creek will tour campus April 25, while students from Eau Claire and Altoona will have their Fifth-Grade Tour Day April 26.

The tour days will introduce the idea of attending college to all students in the community, said Lissa Martinez Greer, Blugold Beginnings program coordinator. The day is especially important for students who would not otherwise be exposed to what higher education is all about, she said.

Small groups of fifth-graders will be paired with college mentors for the day. The young students can ask questions about college, discuss future academic plans and explore what areas on campus they find interesting.

Volunteers from the Eau Claire and campus communities will interact with the young students throughout the day.

The fifth-graders, teachers, principals, student mentors, and campus and community volunteers will gather for an opening ceremony at 10 a.m. Thursday and Friday in Zorn Arena. A closing ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. each day, also in Zorn Arena.

A major component of the Fifth-Grade Campus Tour Day is the chance for fifth-graders to participate in a "mock" college class and spend time with faculty. A number of UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff members from various disciplines will lead interactive classroom demonstrations during the visits. The classroom demonstrations, which cover a variety of topics from the physics of pressure to English pop culture, will be held from 10:40-11:10 a.m., 11:20 a.m.-11:50 p.m. and noon-12:30 p.m.

UW-Eau Claire student mentors already have been visiting fifth-graders in their elementary school classrooms to help them prepare for their visits. Follow-up visits after the tour days also are planned.

Also during the tour days, fifth-grade teachers and principals from the visiting schools will attend professional development sessions about unconscious bias in the classroom and supporting fifth-graders in their post-secondary journey.

Lissa Martinez Greer can provide a complete schedule for the April 25-26 fifth-grade campus visits and answer questions about the Blugold Beginnings program. You can reach her at 715-836-3651 or martinlj@uwec.edu. Information about Blugold Beginnings also is available on the Blugold Beginnings website.

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