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UW-Green Bay’s Phuture Phoenix to host 10,000th tour-day visitor this fall

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The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and its award-winning Phuture Phoenix program will mark a major milestone this month, when the school hosts its 10,000th visitor for the annual Phuture Phoenix Day.

More than 1,400 area fifth-graders from 26 elementary schools in 10 Northeastern Wisconsin school districts will visit classrooms, residence halls, the Cofrin Library and other parts of campus Tuesday, Oct. 11 and Thursday, Oct. 13. They also will connect with more than 250 UW-Green Bay student mentors who volunteer as tour guides.

All invited fifth-graders and their teachers participate in planned activities and get to know their mentors in group settings. Phuture Phoenix Day is a coordinated effort to inspire academic success and alert children to educational opportunities beyond high school.

Students tour the University and are invited into dozens of classrooms and lab areas for various experiments and activities. Some may learn new phrases in foreign languages or hear music students perform. They’ll meet coaches and play with members of the Phoenix men’s and women’s basketball teams in the Kress Events Center gymnasium, and attend classes featuring food science, ecology and dance. Among other highlights:

— Using some of the newest computer technology, students will learn from Computer and Information Technology specialists Josh Goldman and Pat Theyerl about being a student in a digital classroom. The students will take notes on computers and take a quiz using clickers.

— The director of Spaceport Sheboygan is now working with the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium at UW-Green Bay, and he will have a presentation for students about space and the University.

— The Phuture Phoenix visitors will conclude their campus field day with cookies with Chancellor Thomas Harden.

The Phuture Phoenix program partners with schools with high percentages of students from low-income families and encourages students to graduate from high school and pursue a college education. Since the program was initiated in 2003, more than 10,000 fifth-grade students have been involved.

Phuture Phoenix Associate Director Stephanie Cataldo Pabich said the program is stronger than ever and continues to lead the way to a college education for thousands of youngsters in Northeastern Wisconsin.

The UW-Green Bay campus will host more than 950 students from Green Bay, West De Pere, and Oneida Nation schools from 9:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11. Two days later, the Phuture Phoenix program will welcome about 450 students from the Sturgeon Bay, Oconto, Oconto Falls, Bonduel, Bowler, Suring and Menominee Indian school districts.

The Phuture Phoenix program is not just a field trip; it’s the beginning of relationship that continues as these fifth-graders grow into teenagers. UW-Green Bay education students serve as middle and high school mentors, helping students prepare themselves for a college education. Last year, about 300 UW-Green Bay students provided more than 9,000 hours of tutoring and mentoring in the middle and high schools.

Seventeen current UW-Green Bay students are recipients of Phuture Phoenix Scholarship Awards, granted on the basis of need and prior involvement in the Phuture Phoenix program through mentoring, tutoring or participation in the annual October Tour Day as a fifth-grader.

The Phuture Phoenix program has proven so successful that it has been replicated at Western Washington University, UW-Eau Claire, and most recently at Silver Lake College in Manitowoc.

“We want kids to get excited about college and begin to envision themselves going to college in their future,” Cataldo Pabich said. “Students who participate in Phuture Phoenix Day will walk away having spent a day in the life of a college student. And rather than believing that college is just a wish upon a distant star, they can really picture themselves here.”

For additional information contact: Phuture Phoenix Program Director Kimberly Desotell at (920) 465-2992; desotelk@uwgb.edu or Associate Director Stephanie Cataldo Pabich at (920) 465-5170.

Phuture Phoenix Phacts
• 1,400 fifth-grade students will attend the annual fall campus tour.
• More than 10,000 fifth-graders will have visited the campus since Phuture Phoenix started in 2003.
• 26 elementary schools in Northeastern Wisconsin participate in the Fall Tour Day.
• 63 fifth-grade teachers serve as our partners for the Fall Tour Days.
• 250 UW-Green Bay college students will serve as role models for the annual tour this year.
• More than 90 UW-Green Bay professors are involved annually.
• More than 9,000 Phuture Phoenix tutorial hours per year are conducted by UW-Green Bay students in the middle and high schools.
• Last year 299 UW-Green Bay college students participated in service tutoring and mentoring Phuture Phoenix school age youth in 10 site schools.
• 10 UW-Green Bay students serve as Phellows or lead students in our tutoring schools.
• 15 scholarships will be administered this year to students who selected UW-Green Bay as their college choice.
• The Phuture Phoenix endowment is now more than $450,000.
• Phuture Phoenix enjoys over 150 community members and philanthropists supporting the program.
• Phuture Phoenix has been replicated on three college campuses. We call all the programs our ‘sister’ programs.

Does a field trip when you’re 10 or 11 and in fifth grade really have an impact?

UW-Green Bay freshman Theresa Rock offered her own reflection on how the Phuture Phoenix tour affected her:
“The Phuture Phoenix program inspired my decision to attend UW-Green Bay because of the time that was spent between the leaders and the elementary students; the UW-Green Bay tour and then the time and commitment that was used to follow up with the elementary students even after the tour was completed … When you’re 10 years old, having college students willingly hang out with you, taught us that they (college students) thought it so important for us to further our education, that they were willing to teach it about us themselves.”

And sophomore Bianca Williams-Ford noted…
“If it wasn’t for the Phuture Phoenix program I would not be in college. As a fifth-grader at Howe Elementary this program inspired me that anyone can go to college, no matter what environment you are from.”

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