Char-Koosta News

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Upward Bound students learn that "Times are a-changin"

By Alex Herlich

Haven Cenicola (left) and Dez Kittson (right) visit with residents at St. Luke's Extended Care facility. (Alex Herlich photo) Haven Cenicola (left) and Dez Kittson (right) visit with residents at St. Luke's Extended Care facility. (Alex Herlich photo)

On Saturday, March 8, the Salish Kootenai College Upward Bound program hosted their students for a full day of educational activities and community service. SKC Upward Bound is a federally funded college preparatory program for low-income and/or first-generation college students and is part of the TRiO branch of government programs that provide outreach and services for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The end of February saw the celebration of National TRiO Day, so the focus was on TRiO and the American Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s.

After program instructors picked students up at their homes and brought them to SKC, program director Heather Licht engaged the students in some icebreaker games. Heather then led them through civil rights history, covering topics relating to Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, the “War on Poverty,” and Lyndon B. Johnson. Students also explored how Upward Bound is connected to the Civil Rights Movement historically and philosophically and how the ideas, events, and people associated with the Civil Rights Movement have affected their lives in the 21st century. Students from the program also found out the winners of an art and essay contest, with Berit DeGrandpre winning first place in art and Alejandro Segura winning first place for the essays. Winners were awarded Nook tablets. The next area covered was financial literacy, where students discovered scholarship opportunities that are available to them locally, regionally, and nationally.

From left; Rosie Coffman, Luiz Gonzalez, Agnes Nomee, Haven Cenicola, and Mars Sandoval sing at the St. Luke's Extended Care facility. (Alex Herlich photo) From left; Rosie Coffman, Luiz Gonzalez, Agnes Nomee, Haven Cenicola, and Mars Sandoval sing at the St. Luke's Extended Care facility. (Alex Herlich photo)

Once major topics were covered, the day shifted towards preparation for afternoon community service at St. Luke’s Extended Care facility in Ronan. Students received songbooks containing lyrics to various historical civil rights songs, such as “We Shall Overcome” and “The Times They Are a-Changin.” As the group became more comfortable with the songs, it was time for a quick lunch. The instructors loaded up SKC vans with the students and made the trek to St. Luke’s. There, the Upward Bound group introduced themselves to the elders and had time to sing a handful of songs. Then the singing was followed by some time to walk around and mingle with the residents. Dinner soon followed at Pizza Café in Ronan, which was then succeeded by a trip to go bowling. All in all, the students had a great time getting together and packed a busy day of events into a tight schedule.

Upward Bound is a college preparatory program for low-income and/or first-generation college students. Upward Bound serves high school students who attend Arlee, Charlo, Hot Springs, Polson, Ronan, St. Ignatius, or Two Eagle River School, and who are focused on preparing for academic success in college through hard work in challenging high school classes. Students may apply at any time. To learn more, find us on Facebook, at our website www.ub.skc.edu, email us at upwardbound@skc.edu, or call us at (406) 275-4988.

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