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Sandy Grade students spend week planning to learn after high school

For the third day in a row, Jami Barnicoat’s fourth- and fifth-grade students spent the half-hour before lunch on Wednesday, April 8, writing and sharing about what they want to be when they grow up — and how they will get there. POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Logan Crichton copies a paragraph about what he wants to be when he grows up in Jami Barnicoats fourth- and fifth-grade class.

One boy sports a bright red Mt. Hood Community College Shirt that reads, “Future College Graduate.”

Their activities are part of Sandy Grade School’s newly introduced college week.

Rachael George, principal of the school at 38955 Pleasant Street, said the idea for the spirited, weeklong event came from poll results at the beginning of the year. Staff asked students if they planned to go to college — and received a limited response.

“I’ve always felt that it doesn’t just start in middle school,” George said. “The foundation and academic work start in elementary.”

She added that hard work with children early on leads directly to the different opportunities available to them later in life.

The population and diversity of the school played a role in the introduction of college week.

As a Title 1 school, Sandy Grade has one of the highest uses of free and reduced rates in the district. As college options aren’t readily available to low-income populations, Geoge said she wants to start planning now so students will have the drive to continue on through middle school, high school and post-secondary education.POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - My life as an adult, by Logan Crichton, is one writing that came out of College Week in Jami Barnicoats class at Sandy Grade School.

“We’re trying to show them that college isn’t a dream, it’s a plan — that the planning and different steps start now,” George added.

Barnicoat’s class was one of several in the school that spent the week writing about their plans for college.

The oldest students weren’t the only ones to participate. Kindergarteners and first-graders also got in on the action.

“It’s just been absolutely fabulous,” George said. “The conversations have been really meaningful. The kids have been really excited about it.”

Students in Barnicoat’s class discussed their plans while they worked on Wednesday.

Lexi Clardy wants to be a doctor or a photographer. Faith Hubbard wants to be a daycare provider. Both of the girls said they know how much work they need to do to achieve those goals, including studying hard and doing their homework to earn good grades.

“Me? I’m going to be out of this world!” said Logan Crichton, an outgoing boy who said he wants to be an astronaut. “I need to go to college and be hard working — don’t give up and work as hard as I can.”

Pride filled Logan’s voice as he explained his dad went to Clackamas Community College, so that’s where he wants to go.

On Monday, the fourth- and fifth-graders received a guest lecture from a representative of Concordia University. Clardy, Hubbard and Crichton agreed it also sounds like a good school.POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Jaelin Byles, left, and Emmily Rogers peer-edit their writing about their future goals.

George said she would like to see college week continue annually.

“We want every door opened for all of our kids,” she said. “And make sure they know those wonderful things are out there.”

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