Five-Year old children to be registered at El Paso Community College
By Joe Olvera ©, 2011
About 60 kindergartners from Lorenzo Loya Primary School in San Elizario, Texas will learn one important lesson on April 20, 2011 – that it’s not a question of “if” they go to college, but, “when.”
The children, all of them 5 and 6 years of age, will see what it’s like to register at the El Paso Community College – much like older students do when they register for classes. Only this innovative simulated experience is formulated so that the 5-year-olds will gain a hands-on experience at a very early age of what it takes to attend college.
Carmen Dominguez, who teaches at the Primary School, said that three bilingual educators, including Ms. Berumen, Ms. Guevara, and herself decided to incorporate a meaningful and life-learning experience that will help the youngsters make an educational choice. “Hopefully, this can turn into a yearly project, but, it depends on the funding available. At this early grade level and at this intensity, we believe it is the first group of students in El Paso County, and, definitely, the first group of students at Lorenzo Loya Primary to participate in this type of career day.”
Lorenzo Loya Primary School, at 13705 Socorro Road, is part of the San Elizario Independent School District. It educates more than 650 students, 100 percent of whom are Hispanic, and 97 percent who are economically disadvantaged. 79 percent of them are considered to be limited English proficient
The exciting field trip will include taking the 60 students to the El Paso Community College’s Administrative offices on Viscount. They will be provided a lunch, but, more importantly, they will be able to see what career options are available. They will not only be registered, but, will be provided with a packet of information which they can take to their parents so that they too can keep track of their youngsters, and get them ready for the day when they will be ready to achieve higher learning. The workshop will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“The director of career services will speak to them about professional career choices such as medical, educational, business, etc.” Dominguez said. “They will then continue into the EPCC classrooms such as the culinary program, massage therapy, cosmetology, television programming, and others. It will all be hands-on experience, with the students participating. The emphasis will be with the children being made aware of the different programs available. Dr. Richard Rhodes, the president of the college will also read to the children. The parents will be involved too, because they will need to continue encouraging their children to finish high school, and to go on to the El Paso Community College.
“We need to instill in these students the importance of continuing their education beyond high school. We felt that the El Paso Community College provides a smooth transition to pursue an education for all our students.”
Dominguez, who has been teaching for 29 years, 15 of them at Lorenzo Loya, said that the effort is to extend the lesson into an attainable goal, to engulf the students in career choices. “We need to encourage the kids to become the future of the El Paso Community College,” Dominguez said. “They will be the Class of 2025.”