Children learn importance of higher education

By Penny Bailey: Clovis Municipal Schools

I entered and the school colors were all around me…obviously fans were excited about the day and you could not help but catch the spirit yourself.

There were posters with school names and mascots, there were faces painted and even individually crafted flip-flops and ball caps with school colors as well.

By now, you have probably guessed I was at a school sporting event, but you would be wrong. I was at something much better. It was Lockwood Elementary School in a fifth grade classroom where the teacher, Kathryn Gonzales, was teaching persuasive writing.

She shared with her students the importance of a higher education, and had them think about where they might like to go to college. Then, each student wrote a persuasive letter to the school of their choice.

The letters had to request information about the school and persuade that school to send a T-shirt to the student as well.

The letters were obviously very persuasive as all the colleges and universities replied with information, and 17 of the 21 students received T-shirts. (Not to worry, Mrs. Gonzales ensured those who did not receive a T-shirt from their school did get one from Clovis Community College.)

And, on this particular day, the parents and I were invited to attend their College Fair.

As I entered the classroom, each student was finishing up their posters, wearing their school colors and getting ready to present their information. The presentations talked about their future plans and the school they want to attend that will help them achieve their life goals.

The students were not the only ones giving presentations. High Plains Federal Credit Union told the students about the importance of saving, how to get started saving, and early planning.

Then, two people from Clovis Community College with the Gear Up program told the students how important it is to work hard now to prepare themselves for the future.

For a follow-up assignment, each student will write a persuasive letter to their parents explaining why they want to attend their particular college.

It was so wonderful to see the excitement on the faces of these students and hear them share their dreams from working in astronomy to being country music stars.

And, as long as they have support from teachers like Gonzales, a community like Clovis, and their families, I think they will reach the stars.