Perpetuating the Pipeline

lindsey_edwardsby Lindsey Edwards
Community Learning Center Coordinator
Woodrow Wilson Elementary

At United Way of Salt Lake, we are committed to ensuring kids are succeeding every step of the way from cradle to career.  Supporting the kids in South Salt Lake from Pre-K through college graduation is the premise of our work at Woodrow Wilson Community Learning Center.  Last week, the entire sixth grade (100 students total) toured the Granite Technical Institute in order to perpetuate the educational pipeline.  It was a great opportunity to introduce students to specialized, professional programs which will be available to them in just a few short years once they enter high school.

Gloria Holmstead, 6th grade teacher at Woodrow Wilson, reflected on the tour by saying, “One thing I heard several times (from students) was, “I need to get my work in on time, I don’t have good grades right now.  If anything, it was a wake up call for a number of my students that they need to step it up.  They were excited about the possibilities of taking classes that were interesting.  They asked a lot of questions about several of the departments.  I told them that these were not the only ones offered, and that they would be interested in seeing other departments as well.”

The students viewed green houses, and learned about how to cultivate plants for a career in horticulture.  They were able to observe a digital animation class, and interact with high-school aged students who were creating a video game.  Students were also introduced to the shop class which is responsible for building the re-locatable buildings used throughout the Granite School District.  The sixth graders were invited in to the dental assisting and cosmetology classes as well.  Both courses offer low-cost services for community members as part of the program requirements.  Information regarding these services will be distributed to each student and their families.

A 6th grade student shared her experience by saying, “I learned that when we are in 9th grade we can get a head start on what we wanna do when we grow up……When I am in 9th grade I wanna take classes about 3D animation and cosmetology.  I really wanna do those classes, they seem really fun!”

If education is the best way to escape poverty, then the sixth graders at Woodrow Wilson Elementary are one step further on the path to college and one step closer to diminishing economic disparities in South Salt Lake.  We extend a huge THANK YOU to the 6th grade teachers at Woodrow Wilson and the faculty at Granite Technical Institute for all they do for the youth in our community!

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