CALDWELL -- An education project in the Caldwell School District is helping teachers and staff members inspire more students to go to college.
The P16 project is aimed at helping students in preschool, all the way through their college graduation day. Educators do so through specialized preschool classes, after-school programs, and college prep courses for high school students.
The project is funded by non-profit groups and local businesses. The United Way is also a big sponsor of P16.
INSPIRING YOUNG STUDENTS
Sigmund Goode is a third grader at Lewis and Clarke Elementary in Caldwell. He's part of P16's after-school program there.
Instructors say they plan college visits for younger students like Goode to help them see the possibilities for their future.
"I went to Boise State University," Goode told KTVB.
"We're here to inspire them to build those dreams so someday they can accomplish them on their own," said Lucille Muli-Kituku, a P16 Child Development Coordinator.
Teachers work to inspire students to engage in learning. That includes talking to them about college and other post-secondary education options.
"I've seen a lot of kids come into the program not knowing anything about post-secondary education," said Muli-Kituku.
Because of the Boise State University visit with his classmates, Goode now has a goal of playing for the Broncos.
"I like to play tackle football," he said.
The Caldwell School District also offers two P16 Preschool programs. Classes are offered twice a day. Some are offered at Wilson Elementary, where we caught up with a class.
Teachers not only focus on the ABCs, but also social skills that prepare students for years of success.
"A student who comes ready to kindergarten to learn is going to be that much more successful year after year," said P16 Director Josh Williamson.
The YMCA is also a part of the P16 education project. Staff members help lead class activities and provide art and sports outlets. P16 leaders say the after-school and summer options help keep students on track.
P16 AT CALDWELL HIGH SCHOOL
Coordinators say the P16 project is also making an impact at the high school level. Last year, 48-percent of Caldwell high school graduates enrolled in college. That number is up almost 10-percent from the year before.
"It's a cultural shift almost within the schools," said Caldwell School District Director of Special Services, Stephanie Carpenter.
It's a shift P16 leaders hope to continue to build on with one goal in mind: sending more students to college.