Eighth graders visit campus, see musical about the importance of education
More than 150 eighth graders from the Twin Cities traveled to the University of St. Thomas campus Thursday morning, Jan. 8, to visit a college campus firsthand and attend a musical performance that emphasizes the importance of the eighth grade to their future success in high school and college.
The performance, "Power to the Eighth," was written and produced by Climb Theater, a nonprofit organization that has been developing shows for students for more than 30 years.
The St. Thomas Center for Intercultural Learning and Community Engagement hosted the program. Its development and performance was funded by more than 65 Minnesota colleges and universities, the state of Minnesota's Office of Higher Education, and the Get Ready Program.
"Power to the Eighth" is being performed at more than 60 schools and colleges across the state. The students attending the St. Thomas performance are from the Community of Peace Academy and St. Mark's in St. Paul, and the Field Middle School in Minneapolis.
"Middle school outreach is a major component of our new Center for Intercultural Learning and Community Engagement's initiative," explained the center's director, Meghan Allen Eliason. "We are doing more outreach to young students regarding early college awareness.
"It's a combination of goodwill, community engagement, promoting higher education, and generating awareness about the University of St. Thomas," she said.