Cradle to career. That's the pathway that the Albany Promise Network wants to forge for students and families in the capital city. For sixth graders at William S. Hackett Middle, it starts with a seed. Innae Park has more.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- A classroom becomes a garden.
UAlbany Sophomore Karan Verma explained, “In three weeks, they'll have some tasty treats that they'll see develop over time,” as sixth graders at William S. Hackett Middle School planted peas into containers of soil.
Then it becomes a chemistry lab and even a courtroom, as students become a part of a jury in a mock trail. All these settings and activities were hosted by UAlbany students Wednesday who are hoping to inspire younger kids to aim higher.
The partnership between the university and the City School District of Albany is set up through the Albany Promise Network, a coalition of leaders throughout the Capital Region to support students and their families.
Superintendent Dr. Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard said, “Everyone has the opportunity to go to a higher ed[ucation], but we've got to help them manage and navigate the system to do so.”
However, these workshops are just the tip of the iceberg. Both the superintendent and UAlbany's president want to create more pathways for these students to get them a college education.
“Just the sheer amount and process for choosing a college, the paperwork associated with college, the financial pieces of getting the child to college, all of those things are potential barriers. Every one of those is a barrier,” said Dr. Vanden Wyngaard. “So we have to create a system that allows our parents to learn how to get through that.”
Verma said, “Once you implement the seed, literally and figuratively, it's going to develop and grow.”
All these efforts leading the way to a fertile future, ready to bloom.