KUTZTOWN, PA – Kutztown University will continue to support its local youth and the Reading School District with multiple programs serving students from sixth through 12th grades, promoting the importance of going to college.
In addition to programs currently serving middle and high school students, KU is concluding the 14th year of its “College Can Be a Reality” early awareness program for students at Lauer’s Park Elementary School in Reading; however, due to restructuring of Reading School District, the program for fifth-graders will unfortunately come to an end.
On Thursday, April 11, KU hosted its annual luncheon with a group of fifth-graders and their parents to commemorate the program’s annual efforts.
Organized by Joan Holleran and Claudia DeLong from the Financial Aid department, “College Can Be a Reality” was designed to promote the possibility of higher education for families at Lauer’s Park. Select students were invited to participate in the program each year, consisting of a series of hands-on workshops, field trips to campus and cultural events. The program content was geared toward widening career options and demonstrating how post-secondary education can bring more choices, job security and financial stability. Goals included building self-esteem, communicating high academic standards, instilling a strong work ethic, motivating children to stay in school and developing a positive attitude about their ability to go to college.
The program served more than 400 students in its existence.
Moving forward, KU will continue its partnership with Reading School District through its K.U.B.S program (Kutztown University Bound Scholars) for sixth-eighth graders and G.A.P. program for ninth-12th graders.
Once a student had completed the “College Can be A Reality” program, the student and their parents are offered the opportunity to apply and be accepted into the K.U.B.S. program. This program meets with the students monthly, offering both parents and students college readiness workshops to continue developing their interest in college and career awareness.
K.U.B.S. monitors student success, acknowledges their birth dates, goals and plans, as well as maintains contact with parents. College visits provide students with the necessary resources and helps them build a strong relationship with KU. Student and parent participants are brought on-campus one Saturday per month to participate in a separate workshop with such topics as: self-awareness, transitioning into middle school, building a positive self-worth, multicultural awareness and responsible decision-making, among various other topics.
Participants are provided with transportation, breakfast and lunch. Once a student has reached Reading High School, the student can then apply to be inducted into the G.A.P. program, which works directly with Reading School District.
Organized by the university’s Multicultural Center, the G.A.P. program works to expose participants to college-life opportunities and experiences in order to encourage and support their academic goals, make a positive impact on their social behavior and development, provide them with opportunities to explore a greater sense of self-awareness and increase their knowledge of available resources that are critical to pursuing a college degree.