Phuture Phoenix Day will be Oct. 12 and 14 at UW-Green Bay

In what has become an autumnal tradition, more than 1,400 area fifth-graders will take a step toward the college experience Oct. 12 and 14, visiting UW-Green Bay for the ninth annual Phuture Phoenix Day.

Students from 13 Green Bay elementary schools and nine other area school districts will visit classrooms, residence halls, the Cofrin Library and other parts of campus Tuesday (Oct. 12) and Thursday (Oct. 14). They also will connect with more than 300 UW-Green Bay student mentors who volunteer as tour guides.

As she has done in the past, Wisconsin First Lady Jessica Doyle will also take part in the Phuture Phoenix Day. Mrs. Doyle and her husband, Governor Jim Doyle, have been strong advocates for the Phuture Phoenix Program. When he established the Wisconsin Covenant, which promises that the state will help qualifying students attend a state college or university, Gov. Doyle praised Phuture Phoenix as a model.

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. Phuture Phoenix Day can involve a stroll through the Lawton Art Gallery on campus, meeting coaches and playing with members of the Phoenix men’s and women’s basketball teams in the Kress Center gym, and attending classes featuring food science, ecology, and dance.

Among other highlights:
– Some students will get to make slime with chemistry Prof. Julie Lukesh and UW-Green Bay students.

-Fifth grade visitors will challenge the students of Profs. David and Deidre Radosevich in a game of Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? (“I really think I can beat them this time,” says David Radosevich.)

-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 it was initiated during the 2002-03 academic year, more than 10,000 fifth-graders have been involved in the program.

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 expected attendance of more than 1,400 students will set a record.

On Tuesday, Oct. 12, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., the UW-Green Bay campus will host more than 950 students from Green Bay, West De Pere, and Oneida Nation schools.

Two days later, the Phuture Phoenix program will welcome about 500 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 will continue 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.

The Phuture Phoenix program has proven so successful that it has been replicated at Western Washington University and UW-Eau Claire It was recently announced that the Phuture Phoenix program will be replicated 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,” said Cataldo Pabich. “Students who participate in Phuture Phoenix Day will walk away having spent a day in the life of a college student. They can really picture themselves here. That creates a lot of excitement.”

For additional information contact: Phuture Phoenix program director Kimberly Desotell at (920) 465-2992; or assistant director Stephanie Cataldo Pabich at (920) 465-5170.

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