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Area eighth-graders to tour UW-Eau Claire May 18-20

Blugold Beginnings at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will host more than 1,380 area eighth-graders for Eighth-Grade Tour Day from Wednesday through Friday, May 18-20.

Visiting UW-Eau Claire May 18 will be 232 eighth-grade students from Menomonie Middle School and 211 from Eau Claire’s North Star Middle School. On May 19, visiting eighth-graders will include 300 from Eau Claire’s DeLong Middle School, 97 from Altoona Middle School and 18 from St. Paul Catholic School in Bloomer. On May 20, visiting students will include 375 eighth-graders from Chippewa Falls Middle School, 45 from the School District of Thorp, 60 from the Whitehall School District and 48 from Augusta Middle School.

Small groups of eighth-graders will be paired with college mentors for the day. Eighth-grade students will be encouraged to ask questions about college, discuss future academic plans and explore areas on campus they find interesting. Various UW-Eau Claire faculty will conduct 30-minute interactive classroom demonstrations during the tour and help acclimate students to campus.

“UW-Eau Claire is committed to supporting access to higher education in our region,” said Jodi Thesing-Ritter, program director for Blugold Beginnings. “This day is a terrific opportunity for eighth-graders in our community to all get the same message about the importance of engagement in high school to prepare for success in the future. Tour Days also provide a great opportunity for UW-Eau Claire student volunteers to give back to the community by mentoring the eighth-grade participants.”

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 Eighth-Grade Tour Day, visit or contact Jodi Thesing-Ritter, program director, at 715-836-3015 or