"I Know You Can!" Mayor Rybak Helps Minneapolis Third Graders Prepare for College
Rybak joins hundreds of volunteers in reading to students at third-annual "I Know I Can" College Awareness Day, held in third-grade classrooms across Minneapolis
February 11, 2010 (MINNEAPOLIS) -- As part of his mission to make sure that every Minneapolis student is ready for college, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and approximately 200 volunteers visited third-grade classrooms across the City today with a simple message: you can and should go to college.
Mayor Rybaks visits to third graders, in the classrooms of teachers Karen Garcia-Fuller and Coral Shanahan at Richard R. Green Central Park School, launched the third annual "I Know I Can" College Awareness Day, designed to promote post-secondary education to third grade students.
"No matter your background — no matter your neighborhood, your culture or whether someone in your family has gone to college before — we expect you, and all Minneapolis students, to be prepared for college," Mayor Rybak told students.
"Starting today, I want you to imagine yourself going to college — and I want you to start planning for it. We will do everything we can to help you get ready, but the rest is up to you to stay in school, work hard, and develop a plan for the future. I know you can!" Mayor Rybak added.
"I Know I Can College Awareness Day is an exhilarating experience, not only for our third graders across all the Minneapolis Public Schools, but for the volunteers throughout the community who generate excitement in our students about their potential to go to college. This kind of connection between the Mayor, community partners, citizens of Minneapolis and our students helps fuel our children’s belief in themselves and their future," said William D. Green, Superintendent of the Minneapolis Public Schools. The more closely we all work together, the stronger our students and the stronger our city will be."
Volunteers spread out along with Mayor Rybak to nearly every third-grade classroom in Minneapolis to read I Know I Can, a nationally acclaimed children’s book about going to college. In addition to reading the book, Rybak and volunteers talked about their own college experiences, why college is important and how to get ready for college — even starting in the third grade.
One of the goals of the "I Know I Can" College Awareness Day is to connect youth with adult role models from the community and get students thinking about how adults can help them achieve their dream of a college education.
I Know I Can College Awareness Day is part of the Minneapolis Promise, an innovative cluster of coordinated efforts designed to eliminate barriers to college education for Minneapolis public school students and says to our young people that if they stay in school and focus on where they want to go, Minneapolis will get them there. Becoming a national innovative model, the Minneapolis Promise provides counseling so young people can plan a vision for their future, obtain quality summer jobs and financial assistance for college.
I Know I Can College Awareness Day is led by the Office of the Mayor and sponsored by RBC Wealth Management, with support from Minneapolis Public Schools, the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota College Access Network.
Published Feb. 11, 2010