Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Superintendent of Schools Daniel J. Warwick and others will kick off College?YES!, a city-wide effort to inspire college aspirations, with throngs of former, current and future college graduates and supporters during a rally taking place Friday, Oct. 26th at 10 a.m. on the steps of City Hall.
The rally jump-starts a plethora of major events taking place throughout the city over the weekend, which ensure that college is a topic of conversation in every school, on every athletic field, on television and in social media, in every neighborhood, in supermarkets and hair salons, and from the pulpit of houses of worship.
In the planning stages for many months, the College?YES! initiative involves the participation of more than 30 local organizations and agencies. Participation in the initiative will take several forms over the weekend.
In the classrooms, educators will create age-appropriate college-themed lessons, programming and events. Local businesses will allow staff to wear College?YES! T-shirts and showcase in-store displays about the initiative; coaches will also don the College?YES! T-shirts and incorporate a positive college-themed message into their game or practice; college students will fan out across the city, hosting college tours and “how to apply” sessions; community organizations will create special sessions and programs around the topic of college awareness; and houses of worship will integrate the college message into their weekly sermon or educational program for youth.
Pledge cards will be distributed at various locations throughout the city over the weekend. Students pledge to reach their full potential by attending school, working hard, graduating and pursuing college or other higher education options. Adults pledge to encourage and support the child and partner with them to ensure they reach that potential.
One highlight of the weekend sure to catch the attention of thousands of onlookers is the double-decker bus filled with cheering college supporters that will traverse the city on Saturday, stopping in many neighborhoods along the way to share its message. Loudspeakers, flash mobs, cheerleaders and noisemakers will be involved.
Here is what else is on tap for the weekend and a list of contact persons for each event:
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26th
College? YES! Rally at City Hall 10:00 a.m.
The weekend-long College?Yes! initiative kicks off with a rally and news conference at Springfield City Hall at 10 a.m. Speakers will include Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Superintendent of Schools Daniel J. Warwick and others. Hundreds of grade school and college students; college presidents, representatives of dozens of local agencies and organizations are also expected to attend.
(Contact Person: Denise Jordan 413-787-6100.)
College Question & Answer Session for eighth-graders at First Church at 10:45 a.m. (Contact Person: Brian Zelasko 413-297-8237 or Jeff Welch 413-787-7121.)
Events and activities at Springfield schools and offices - ALL DAY
(Contact Person: Azell Cavaan 413-787-7575; cell: 413-265-8617)
Friday Night Football at Central High School
Sci-Tech vs. Pittsfield @ 5 p.m. and Commerce vs. Mahar @ 8 p.m.
(Contact Person: Jeff Welch 413-787-7121)
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27th
The Rolling Rally - 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
A double-decker Peter Pan bus will traverse the City, filled with passengers promoting the College?Yes! message with loudspeakers, music, banners and hand-outs. The bus will make scheduled stops at more than seven businesses. A flash mob led by performers from Dream Studios will dance and engage the public at these stops. Bus passengers will include students, educators, parents, college students and other supporters and is expected to grow with each stop.
(Contact person: Bonnie Laporte 413-787-7909 (cell) 413-355-0012)
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28th
More than 30 churches will be messaging the importance of College during their service and worshippers are urged to wear college gear.
(Contact Person: Linnette Camacho 413-787-7910).