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DBMS Students learn value of Higher education

Ashley Mezo and Charlie Brown stood in front of their poster boards Monday morning, waiting for customers.

Tuesday, April 10, 2001

Ashley Mezo and Charlie Brown stood in front of their poster boards Monday morning, waiting for customers.

When they arrived, the Dawson-Bryant Middle School eighth-graders showed the students – sixth-graders this time – information from the universities they had researched, complete with a college statistics pitch.

Their projects were two of many spread out in the middle school gym Monday, part of a project aimed at teaching young students the value of college. The high school juniors came by first, many staying for some time to check out destinations for higher education they can choose in the next year.

"The whole project is around March Madness," teacher Mary Ellen Conley said, explaining each student researched one of the 65 teams in the basketball playoffs.

The students used spreadsheets, made presentations, wrote letters and did three weeks of research, Mrs. Conley said.

Some even used Yahoo.com to find distances to the colleges and make maps.

"What we wanted to do is expose them to a lot of different places to go to school," Mrs. Conley said.

Plus, they realized the value of taking tests seriously, she said.

The eighth-graders have just taken the practice ACT test and now know what scores some colleges require for admission, she added.

For Miss Mezo, the project was fun and educational.

"I think it was a good idea because the 11th grade could see what their average (grade) is and what their interests are and where they could go," she said. "Or they could find one with a scholarship."

She researched Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas.

Brown found out that there were a lot of colleges he and other students didn’t even know about.

Willis Cochran is one eighth-grader who now knows more about education after high school.

"I never thought about it before but now I do, after this."