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University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943

Summer Bridge Program Makes a Difference

Summer Bridge Program Makes a Difference

Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG - 7/20/2006 - University of Central Missouri's Summer Bridge program continues to make a difference in the lives of Kansas City, Mo. high school students as it gives them experience in college life.

Annual Summer Program Enters Third Year

A group of 15 students who will enter the 10th grade in the fall arrived on campus July 9 for the summer program, now in its third year. They will spend three weeks on campus, enhancing college readiness skills while experiencing academic core curriculum provided by nine instructors from the Kansas City, Mo. School District. Beth Collins, a teacher in the Kansas City, Mo. School District, is the teacher coordinator for the program.

Program Veterans Return to Share Experiences

In addition to campus life and instruction, the first-year students will learn from those who attended Summer Bridge in 2004 and 2005. Sixteen second-year students and 12 third-year students also will participate in Summer Bridge 2006 for a week, sharing their experiences with those who are arriving for the first time.

A Chance to Learn about College

Eugene Stillman, UCM’s campus advocate for students, is the campus coordinator for the 2006 session of Summer Bridge. He noted that the purpose of the program, coordinated by the UCM Office of Community Engagement, is to give students the tools they need to prepare for college while they are in high school.

"We bring the first year students to campus following their freshman year in high school," Stillman said. "They take what they learn in Summer Bridge back to high school with them, and they still have three years of high school to achieve the academic successes that will prepare them for college."

Fields Trips Provide Further Exploration

The daily schedule includes instruction in literacy, math and science, as well as supplemental instruction in study skills, writing skills, career exploration, technology, and time management and research skills. Field trips to Kansas City and Jefferson City also provide students with activities related to course content, and students also learn about the history of UCM and the surrounding through field trips to the McClure Archives and Museum, Cave Hollow and Blind Boone Park.

Students also gain insight into minority business opportunities through a field trip to Jordon Foods, Knob Noster, a wholesale and retail food manufacturer and distributor owned by Marion and Denise Jordon of Kansas City, and they will tour the Art Center Gallery and KMOS-TV and KTBG-FM 90.0 The Bridge on the UCM campus. In addition, they will attend a performance of the Central Missouri Repertory theatre production of Neil Simon’s "The Odd Couple." A mock trial conducted by the Summer Bridge students will provide insight into the democratic judicial system.

Third Year Curriculum Focuses on Academics

Stillman noted that this is the first year the third year students have been included in the program, bringing Summer Bridge veterans of the first session in 2004 back to the UCM campus for the third consecutive summer.

"We have developed a week-long curriculum that focuses on academics for seven hours per day for these students, who will be high school seniors in the fall," he said. "At the end of the week, the students will take a mock ACT test to prepare them for the college admissions processes they will be completing during their senior year."

Parents Are Included

Parents also are included in the program. During the field trip to Kansas City, students will meet with their parents, and UCM staff will provide parents with information on financial aid and information for parents on supporting their children in their academic achievements.

The Summer Bridge program is funded through corporate contributions by Sprint Foundation, Aquila, J.E. Dunn Construction Co. and the Ellis Family Foundation, along with in-kind contributions of staff and facilities by UCM.

Summer Bridge 2006 participants

DeAngelo Thomas, left, a student at Westport High School, and Shanika
Benson from Southeast High School learn about the basics of DNA testing and typing
during the 2006 Summer Bridge program at University of Central Missouri.