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Fifth-graders to tour campus April 20-21

Blugod Beginnings LogoRELEASED: April 13, 2011

EAU CLAIRE — Approximately 1,400 area fifth-graders will be on the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus for the Blugold Beginnings Tour Day April 20-21. Students from elementary schools in the Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls, Arcadia and Altoona school districts will be participating.

Small groups of fifth-graders will be paired with two college mentors for the day. The students are encouraged to ask questions about the university, discuss future academic plans and explore what areas on campus they find interesting. As many as 20 faculty and staff from UW-Eau Claire will conduct 30-minute interactive classroom demonstrations during the tour and help acclimate students to campus.

All fifth-grade teachers and principals from the visiting schools will also attend. They will have the opportunity to attend a professional development session on the topics of unique needs of unique learners and supporting fifth-graders in their post-secondary journey. Approximately 30 community volunteers will assist with the event.

Tony Evers, superintendent of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, and Scott Bolstad, a regional representative for Sen. Ron Johnson, are scheduled to attend April 20.

"Blugold Beginnings is so excited to have 1,400 elementary students explore the UW-Eau Claire campus and spend time with college students and faculty while learning that education after high school is an option for them to pursue their future goals," said Lissa Martinez, elementary coordinator for Blugold Beginnings.

Prior to Tour Day, mentors have been visiting fifth-graders in their schools to help them prepare for what they will experience, and follow-up visits after the event are planned.

The Blugold Beginnings program works with local schools to introduce youth to the benefits of a college education and pair them with caring mentors to guide them toward that future goal. A major objective of the program is to educate and inspire, particularly at-risk, low-income or first-generation students, and help them believe that a post-secondary education is important, attainable and available at UW-Eau Claire and other institutions of higher learning.

For more information about Fifth-Grade Tour Day, visit the Blugold Beginnings website or contact Lissa Martinez, elementary coordinator, at 715-836-3651 or martinlj@uwec.edu.

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RD/DW

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