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Area fifth-graders to visit UW-Eau Claire campus April 26-27

April 25, 2012

TO: News/Assignment Editors and Directors

FROM: Judy Berthiaume

DATE: April 25, 2012

SUBJECT: Area fifth-graders to visit UW-Eau Claire campus April 26-27

More than 1,600 fifth-graders from western Wisconsin will be on the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus April 26-27 for the Blugold Beginnings Tour Day.

Fifth-graders from the following school districts will be on campus Thursday or Friday for the campus tours: Augusta, Altoona, Arcadia, Black River Falls, Chippewa Falls (public and Catholic schools), Eau Claire (public, Catholic and Lutheran schools) and Fall Creek.

Small groups of fifth-graders will be paired with college mentors for the sessions. The young students can ask questions, 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. Mary Huffcutt of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction will speak during the closing sessions.

A number of UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff members from various disciplines will lead interactive classroom demonstrations during the visits. Examples of sessions include:

  • "How Interesting would your life be if you knew Chinese?" by Qiaoping Nie, foreign languages, 10:45-11:15 a.m. April 26, Hibbard Hall, Room 221.
  • "Psychology dog training," by Andrew Hucks, psychology, 11:30 a.m.-noon, 12:10 p.m.-12:40 p.m. April 26, Old Library, Room 2150.
  • "Visual programming" by Dan Stevenson, computer science, 10:45-11:15 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-noon, 12:10-12:40 p.m. April 27, Phillips Hall, Room 107.
  • "Hmong language and culture" by Kia Lee, Admissions, and Charles Vue, Multicultural Affairs, 12:10-12:40 p.m. April 27, Schneider Hall, Room 319.
  • "Geography" by Christina Hupy, geography, 12:10-12:40 p.m. April 27, Phillips Hall, Room 275.

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.

The tour days will introduce the idea of attending college to all students in the community, said Lissa Martinez, 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.

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 can provide a complete schedule for the April 26-27 fifth-grade campus visits and answer questions about the Blugold Beginnings program. You can reach her at 715-836-3651 or

Information about Blugold Beginnings also is available on the Blugold Beginnings website.

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