Utah Schools to Use Pep Rallies, Cheerleaders, & Kindergarteners to Boost Graduation Rates

capMy home state, Utah, is trying to boost graduation rates there by getting kids excited about high school graduation.

So what age group are they targeting? Kindergarten.

As The Salt Lake Tribune reports, Utah’s graduation rate is at 81 percent after climbing over the past five years and still, a federal report last year ranked that rate as higher than just 14 other states.

That’s why programs aimed at kindergarteners are becoming more popular. The kids take field trips to nearby high schools where they spend time learning about high school and graduation by attending a mini pep rally and other activities that will be a part of their eventual high school experience. At the end of the field trip kids get fake diplomas.

Initially I was skeptical about this concept of getting 5-year-olds excited about high school graduation. Like, really? Can’t they just be 5-year-olds? It all felt a little too Tiger Mom for me. But after giving it some thought, I actually think it’s a pretty great idea. The whole point of attending school is graduating. So the end game for starting kindergarten is graduation which means, to me, it’s not a bad idea to throw that concept out to kids right of the bat in an exciting way. Let them know that they’re in school for a reason, you know?

There’s a fun way to introduce the concept of schooling to children and the end goal and then there’s the pressurized Tiger Mom way. As long as it is kept fun and happy and introduced in a way that gives kids a solid understanding of school and why they’re there, I think it’s fantastic.

What about you? A little too early for your taste or would you be thrilled if this initiative was part of your school district?


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