Riverbat Takes College Connection to Kids

R.B. poses with students from Oak Springs.

R.B. the Riverbat and leaders from Austin Community College and the Austin Police Department recently dropped by Oak Springs Elementary to kick off the school’s annual field day with a spirited version of the “R.B. Step” and a reminder that through education, the young “scholars” – as the students are known – can become whatever they want to be.

The May 2 event marked the launch of ACC’s “College Connection for Kids” campaign to increase college participation through an early introduction to higher education. | See video of R.B.’s visit below.

“All of us have dreams, and there are ways that we can help you get there,” ACC President/CEO Dr. Richard Rhodes told the crowd of enthusiastic students wearing “i am acc” t-shirts. “Whether you want to be a police officer, a firefighter, a doctor, a nurse – we’re going to help you get there.”

College Connection for Kids will connect K-12 students and families to college information through various ACC programs, including Youth Programs, Early College Start, Early College High School, Foster Care Alumni program, and Bridge Programs, as well as the College Connection program for high school students.

“Partnerships like the one we have with ACC shows a dedication to education,” said Oak Springs Principal Monica Woods. “It shows our scholars and parents they’re not alone, and that they’re supported.”

College Connection for Kids also will serve as a springboard for additional outreach activities in the communities surrounding ACC’s 10 campuses, further building a culture where education is an expectation.

“We have so many student and employee ambassadors who remain eager to help others know about the educational opportunities they have,” says Dr. Melissa Curtis, Eastview Campus dean of students and director of the College Connection program. “We’re looking forward to new chances to show young students, and the community in general, what ‘i am acc’ means.”

At the Oak Springs event, the college presented the school with dozens of R.B. plushies to use as student incentives or awards, and dozens more to APD to give to children they encounter in crisis or emergency situations.

R.B. then joined the scholars as they began field day with a “torch walk” around the running track carrying banners with the names of various universities and colleges.

“It’s critical to reach kids at the youngest age possible to let people know that there are people here to help them reach their dreams,” said Dr. Rhodes. “Whether it’s APD or ACC, it takes a community to make a difference.”

See photos and video from the event:

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