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UW-Green Bay’s signature Phuture Phoenix program to host annual fall tour days

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Phuture Phoenix Day
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s award-winning Phuture Phoenix program will host its annual Fall Tour Days Oct. 9 and 11, welcoming some 1,400 fifth-graders to campus for the start of a lasting relationship forged around the importance of education.

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 during the tour days. They also will connect with more than 250 UW-Green Bay student mentors who volunteer as tour guides. New this year, Phuture Phoenix Day will be made official beyond the University — Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt will issue a proclamation declaring Oct. 9, 2012 Phuture Phoenix Day throughout the city.

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 UW-Green Bay 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. New highlights for 2012 include printmaking with Prof. Chris Style and a pottery demonstration with Assistant Prof. Minkyu Lee. In addition, all students from the Oneida and Menominee Nation school districts will visit with tribal elders at UW-Green Bay’s Center for First Nations Studies.

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. At the conclusion of the 2012 tour days, more than 11,400 students will have been involved since the program was initiated in 2003.

The UW-Green Bay campus will host more than 975 students from Green Bay, West De Pere and Oneida Nation schools from 9:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9. Two days later, the Phuture Phoenix program will welcome about 470 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.

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

“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
• Fourteen hundred fifth-grade students will attend the annual fall campus tour.

• With the inclusion of the 2012 class, more than 11,400 fifth-graders will have visited the campus since Phuture Phoenix started in 2003.

• Twenty-six elementary schools in Northeastern Wisconsin participate in the Fall Tour Day.

• Sixty-three fifth-grade teachers serve as our partners for the Fall Tour Days.

• Two hundred fifty 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.

• UW-Green Bay students conduct more than 9,000 Phuture Phoenix tutorial hours per year.

• Last year 299 UW-Green Bay college students participated in service tutoring and mentoring Phuture Phoenix school age youth in 10 site schools.

• Ten UW-Green Bay students serve as Phellows or lead students in our tutoring schools.

• Twenty-three 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 more 150 community members and philanthropists supporting the program.

• Phuture Phoenix has been replicated at Western Washington University, UW-Eau Claire and Silver Lake College.

Does a field trip when you’re 10 or 11 and in fifth grade really have an impact?
UW-Green Bay student 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 us about it themselves.”
And student 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.”

And what do teachers say?
Jamie Suring, a fifth-grade teacher from Hemlock Creek Elementary School in West De Pere, was impressed by Phuture Phoenix even before the tour day occurred. “I was very impressed with the three college students who came in for our pre-visit,” she said. “They did a great job with the kids. I really liked how they got to know the fifth-graders, but still really focused on teaching them about college. I think my students are going into the trip with a better understanding of what to expect and what they hope to learn.”

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