ESSEX, N.Y., Aug. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- College For Every Student (www.collegefes.org), a national nonprofit that helps underserved students prepare for, gain access to, and succeed in college, is honoring 20 schools in 8 states as "Schools of Distinction" for their efforts in creating high levels of college awareness and aspirations among their students.
The CFES "School of Distinction" award recognizes schools that have exemplary programs incorporating the three CFES core practices: Leadership through Service, Mentoring, and Pathways to College. These schools not only provide intensive exposure to the three practices for targeted students, known as CFES Scholars, but create a college-going culture that promotes college readiness and success for their entire student body. "Schools of Distinction" offer school-wide activities that enable all students and their families to learn about the college application process, financial aid, and strategies that foster college persistence.
The 2011-2012 "Schools of Distinction" are:
- Bayard Middle School, Wilmington, DE
- Burton Elementary School, Erie, PA
- Cloonan Middle School, Stamford, CT
- Crown Point Central School, Crown Point, NY
- Delta High School, Delta, CO
- Delta Middle School, Delta, CO
- Delta Opportunity School, Delta, CO
- Diehl Elementary School, Erie, PA
- Dole Middle School, Honolulu, HI
- Elbert-Palmer Elementary School, Wilmington, DE
- Global Tech Prep Middle School, New York, NY
- Lincoln Elementary School, Erie, PA
- Northend Elementary School, New Britain, CT
- Peru High School, Peru, NY
- Plattsburgh High School, Plattsburgh, NY
- Port St. Joe Elementary School, Port St. Joe, FL
- Ticonderoga Middle School, Ticonderoga, NY
- Willsboro Central School, Willsboro, NY
- Woodrow Wilson Middle School, Erie, PA
- Withrow University High School, Cincinnati, OH
Attaining "School of Distinction" recognition is a year-long endeavor whereby each school that applies develops activities and creates a portfolio that demonstrates their success in moving all students toward college success.
"In the three years that the SOD program has existed, we've seen a steady increase in student attendance, grades, behavior, leadership, and ultimately application to college," says Steve Boyce, director of the "School of Distinction" program. "Schools are using the program to get kids interested and excited about college while they learn how to be leaders committed to making their schools and communities better places."
Examples of activities developed by award-winning schools include:
- Pen Pals with College Students (Northend Elementary School)
Through a letter-writing campaign targeting college admissions offices, Northend Elementary students collect brochures, pennants, and posters to fill their "College Corner." Students then use these materials, supplemented by online research, to help broaden their college knowledge. Faculty and students from Central Connecticut State University's Education Club serve as mentors to the elementary students.
- Student-designed Survey on Bullying (Cloonan Middle School)
Through peer mentoring, Cloonan students are raising awareness of the national bullying epidemic and engaging one another as part of the solution. Strategies include Anti-Bullying Pledges, Poster Contests, and Bullying Boxes where students can anonymously report bullying. The middle schoolers conducted a survey on their anti-bullying efforts and found that incidences of bullying had dropped nearly 50 percent from previous years.
- Adopt a Grandparent (Delta Opportunity High School)
Delta Opportunity students partner with a local senior center, each student adopting a resident. Visits take place twice a month with students treating residents to cards, surprises, and entertainment. In turn, the residents mentor the students and share their life experiences.
- Professional Attire Day (Willsboro Central School)
During Early College Awareness Week, students at Willsboro Central come to school dressed as they would for their future profession. Students plan activities and events that focus on college prep and wrap up the event with a college fair.
CFES is a nonprofit organization based in Essex, NY, that helps underserved students prepare for, gain access to, and succeed in college. Currently, CFES works with 200 schools in 24 states to help its 20,000 students move toward college success. Over the last six years, 96 percent of CFES high school seniors have gone on to college. (www.collegefes.org)
SOURCE College For Every Student