College-themed classrooms gets kids talking about college early

classroom doors
Classroom doors decked out in college themes at Ben Franklin Elementary School / Christina Dawidowicz -- FOX21 News

PUEBLO, Colo. — Some kids have big plans for their future.

“My goal is to become a teacher,” said Jaslynn Medina, a student at Ben Franklin Elementary School.

“My goal is to be a dinosaur digger,” said Eli Lewis, another student.

“We’ve talked to kids about their dreams and their goals, but we’ve never talked to our kids about how they can achieve those dreams and goals. And we’ve certainly never given them a plan to get there. What I feel like we’re doing is making college accessible to all children. If they’re thinking about it now and they’re planning for it now, they can get there,” said Cary Palumbo, principal of Ben Franklin Elementary.

It’s part of an innovation program at the elementary school, and their classroom doors decked out in college themes are getting kids talking.

“They’re asking about all the doors, they’re asking about all the colleges that they see. They want to know, and we’re hoping it motivates them to have their dreams and their goals,” said Debbie Muller, a third grade teacher at Ben Franklin Elementary.

“Every child should have the opportunity to pursue their dream and some families may not know what it takes to make that dream a reality. We to try to help them first of all, with skills that they can use to get there, good study habits, organization, advocating for themselves as a learner, note taking skills. Those are the kind of things that make successful college students,” Palumbo said.

Teachers say they’re skills that lead to a better future.

“They can be anything they wanna be, and if they wanna be a pilot, they can do it. So, I put the mirror there so anybody can come down and look in the mirror and see themselves in that flight suit,” Muller said.

Later in the year, students will be taking a deeper look at the school all over their doors.

“We’re going to be doing research based on the individual classrooms and their colleges. Where that college is located, how many students go there, what programs they offer, and most importantly, what do they have to do now to get prepared for their dream in the future of attending college and having the career that they want,” Palumbo said.

Teachers say this is just one way to show students they are capable of going to college.

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