Fourth Grade MU Tour

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COLUMBIA - Forty fourth graders from Columbia's West Boulevard Elementary School toured the University of Missouri-Columbia campus Tuesday. Students met at the Memorial Union in the morning to start the field trip. MU's Graduate Professional Council put on the event with help from the elementary school in hopes of closing the achievement gap.

"These are kids who are at a school that is predominately low income and minority students and many are not statistically likely to go to college or have people in their family that go to college," said Vice President of the GPC, Graham McCaulley. "So we wanted to have an exposure, planting the seed early. This is what campus is, this is campus life and we'd love to see you here."

Students visited Ellis Library, Jesse Hall where they learned about financial aid, along with other MU landmarks. The field trip supports West Boulevard's new theme - "Everyone Goes to College".

"We just want to make sure they do hear it, make sure they know that the opportunity is out there," said fourth grade teacher Becky Elder.

Students were led around the campus by current undergraduate and graduate students.

"This was fun. This is going to be my future college," said fourth grader Aaraya Scott. "It looks like kids get educated really well here."

And these fourth graders know why it's important to go after a degree.

"So you can get a good job, get a good degree so you can have a lot of money more stuff. You can help pay for stuff, you can invent stuff with the money," said fourth grader Kristin Weimer.

The council and elementary teachers hope to set up a tour like this every year for students.