February 6, 2004

Keeping Parent’s ‘In The Loop’ About College:

Special ‘College: Making It Happen’ Events Help Families Keep Children on Track For Higher Education

Parents are vitally important to the academic success and college-going rates of their children, but many mothers and fathers – often because of busy work schedules or lack of knowledge about their role in the education process — do not participate as actively as they would like in their children’s educational future.

To help parents, the California Student Opportunity and Access Program (Cal-SOAP) of San Diego and Imperial Counties – an integral outreach partner of the University of California, San Diego — will conduct a series of College: Making It Happen! events for middle school parents and their children from early February through early April at more than 40 middle school sites in the area.

The free events — sponsored by Cal-SOAP with the San Diego Unified School Districts, the Sweetwater Union School District, the Intersegmental Coordinating Committee, and the California Educational Round Table — are designed to inform parents (in English and Spanish) how they can help their children prepare academically for college, and how to obtain financial assistance for higher education.

College: Making It Happen! sessions will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at designated middle schools (see schedule below) in the San Diego Unified, and Sweetwater Union school districts, and at selected locations across East County from February 3 through April 1. (February has been designated College Awareness Month in California by the state’s Department of Education, so College: Making It Happen! sessions held during that period will have special emphasis.)

The 90-minute sessions will cover such topics as:

 The advantages of a college education, including earning power.

 How parents can become involved and stay involved in their children’s education (such as through assisting with homework and study habit development; reading to children at an early age, how to talk to children about college and their future, how to develop an effective relationship with your child’s teacher, and how to find a mentor for your child).

 What courses children should be taking to prepare for college, starting in elementary and middle school.

 An explanation and description of the four major higher education systems in California (community colleges, University of California; California State, and private and independent colleges).

 How to pay for college (average costs of colleges in California; what parents can do now to locate scholarships and other financial aid, and how to start a college savings plan).

Cal-SOAP is part of a statewide consortium focusing on college outreach and academic assistance for low-income middle school and high school students and their parents. Working under the auspices of the California Student Aid Commission, Cal-SOAP in San Diego and Imperial Counties partners with the University of California, San Diego and other educational institutions and entities in the area to provide students and their families with the support and motivation intended to increase academic achievement levels and college-going rates of students from low-income, and first generation college backgrounds.

The California Educational Round Table is a statewide body representing public schools and California’s public and independent colleges and universities.

For more information on College: Making It Happen! and to register, contact the Cal-SOAP community resources coordinator at 858-569-1866.

Here is a listing of the scheduled College: Making it Happen! sessions at area middle schools and other locations (all events are held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.):

San Diego City Schools:

Monday, February 9 Gompers Secondary School, auditorium
Tuesday, February 10 Horace Mann, auditorium
Tuesday, February 17 Montgomery, cafeteria
Wednesday, February 18 Memorial, auditorium
Thursday, February 19 Marston, auditorium
Monday, February 23 Kroc, auditorium
Tuesday, February 24 Bell, auditorium
Thursday, February 26 Pershing, auditorium
Monday, March 1 Palm, cafeteria
Tuesday, March 2 Taft, library
Wednesday, March 3 DePortola, Grespie Hall
Monday, March 8 Challenger, Marshall, and Wagenheim Middle schools, auditorium
Wednesday, March 10 School of Creative and Performing Arts, auditorium
Monday, March 15 Monroe Clark, auditorium
Tuesday, March 16 Farb, Multipurpose room
Wednesday, March 17 Stanley, auditorium
Thursday, March 18 Tubman/Chavez Center, auditorium
Tuesday, March 23 O’Farrell, cafeteria
Monday, March 29 Lewis, auditorium
Tuesday, March 30 Correja, auditorium/library
Wednesday, March 31 Roosevelt, auditorium
Thursday, April 1 Keillor, auditorium

Sweetwater Union School District:

Wednesday, February 11 Mar Vista, auditorium
Thursday, February 12 Chula Vista (location to be announced)
Wednesday, February 18 Southwest (location to be announced)
Tuesday, February 24 Castle Park (location to be announced)
Thursday, February 26 Montgomery (location to be announced)
Wednesday, March 3 Eastlake (location to be announced)
Thursday, March 4 Granger, auditorium
Thursday, March 11 Hilltop, cafeteria

San Ysidro:

Wednesday, February 25 San Ysidro, cafeteria

East County Locations:

Thursday, February 12 Cajon Valley Middle, auditorium
Saturday, February 21 Greater Victory Baptist (Lemon Grove), church sanctuary
Tuesday, March 9 Lakeside Middle, auditorium

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