Students Get Real

McNair Foundation sponsors Get Real Week in the high schools.
Sep. 29, 2013 @ 05:08 AM

Students in the Rutherford County Schools (RCS) system are getting real.

This week, the McNair Educational Foundation hosted Get Real (Realize Educational Achievement for Life) Week in all five of the high schools to encourage students to start thinking about their college futures. The foundation held the program for the first time last year at East Rutherford, R-S Central and Chase high schools. This year they added Rutherford Early College High School (REaCH) and the Rutherford Opportunity Center (ROC).

"Last year was the first time we did the Get Real Week but before that East was a part of Gear Up (an educational grant) and they did a Gear Up for College Week. We decided to borrow that idea since we no longer have Gear Up here," said Monica Lee, executive director of the McNair Foundation. "We wanted to add the other two schools this year because although we don't have our programs there, this is something we could easily share. I think now there's more of a focus in all five high schools on getting kids college ready."

Along with encouraging students to ask their teachers about college, the schools did special announcements during the week which included a college fact of the day, a trivia question and a college tip of the day. The students also participated in a scavenger hunt and a college T-shirt day.

"Each of the teacher's doors has a sheet that says 'Ask me about college' and says where they went to school. For the scavenger hunt contest the kids have to go around and look at those teacher's doors to answer questions," Sarah McKinney, McNair academic program specialist. "The whole week is just a big push to get kids college knowledge. Now is the time when early applications start for colleges. Now is when most seniors should go ahead and start applying. But this is also awareness for the other grades. We want everybody to start thinking about college."

Lee said that this week is a part of the continuing process of building a college-going culture across the county.

"This is one of those easy programs you can put in all of the schools to make an impact and spread that message," Lee said.

This week will be followed up with free college application week in November. During that time students can apply to almost all of the private schools for free.