Berkeley to hold city-wide College and Career Day

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On March 1, Berkeley schools will come together to inspire their students to look to the future.

Berkeley will hold its first citywide College and Career Day this Friday. The event, sponsored by the Berkeley Alliance and UC Berkeley’s Center for Educational Partnerships, will include all of Berkeley’s public K-12 schools. Modeled after a similar program in San Jose, the event is made possible by a $10,000 donation from the Chancellor’s Community Partnership Fund, according to Gail Kaufman, deputy director for the Center for Educational Partnerships.

The goal of this event is to educate kids about their options after high school and inspire them to think about what they may want to do after they graduate.

“We want to send out a unified message that we believe in you, that we believe that you can succeed, that we will be there for you to help you,” Kaufman said.

The daylong event will consist of activities such as college-themed door decorating contests and teachers wearing their own college T-shirts. LeConte Elementary will even have a cap-and-gown photo booth.

The day’s events will also feature guest speakers, including an appearance by the mayor at Berkeley High School.

Moreover, teachers will be able to share their stories with students. Kaufman said that it is important for students to hear that the road is not always smooth, but that success is still possible.

“I think it’s a wonderful idea,” said Kim Robinson, a teacher at Hopkins Early Childhood preschool. “I think it will be really nice exposure for them.”

Students from UC Berkeley will also actively be engaged in this event. Cheerleaders will cheer on kids at Oxford Elementary while Cal Band will perform at Malcolm X Elementary. Children as young as pre-K will have brief assemblies and talks by UC Berkeley students. Even Oski, Berkeley’s mascot, will pay the children a visit.

“I hope that Berkeley students will volunteer to tell their stories and be role models for the students of Berkeley,” Kaufman said.

According to Berkeley School Board Director Karen Hemphill, College and Career Day is meant to encourage students to make the link between what they do today and its impact on their future.

“I really think that it is a wonderful opportunity for kids to be exposed to possibilities that they had no idea that existed and then get a sense of what it takes to get there,” Hemphill said

While it is not yet known whether the event will be a recurring one in the city, Kaufman hopes that the event will encourage schools and parents to think about students’ futures beyond this one day.

Contact Tara Hurley at [email protected]