STARKVILLE, Miss.--Founded in Texas in 2006, No Excuses University is a private network of U.S. elementary, middle and high schools working to promote higher education readiness among their students.
In part, by exposing the young classroom members to specific collegiate symbols--including flags and banners--participating teachers in the network hope to forge mindset associations between their students and universities, even those that might be miles away in other states.
One example was a second-grade teacher at Aurora Elementary School in the Indiana town of the same name who contacted Mississippi State to request the university's assistance with her project.
In correspondence with the Office of the Provost, teacher Pam Grady said an earlier visit to the Starkville campus led her to choose MSU as her class' adopted institution. Though not an alumna, she said she felt her students would be attracted to the 185-year-old land-grant institution's lovable bulldog mascot. They also would enjoy learning to spell M-i-s-s-i-s-s-i-p-p-i, she added.
In response to her request--and, obviously, to encourage interest among potential future students--staff members in MSU's Office of the Provost sent Grady letters and other items. They will continue to do so throughout the current school year.
In a follow-up note, Grady said she appreciated MSU for helping her students "see college as a possibility for everyone, and that all students need to strive to do their best." She went on to explain how each Aurora Elementary class has a university that they represent at school pep rallies and on "spirit Fridays" when each class wears their adopted institution's school colors.
Aurora students also expressed their excitement and appreciation through hand-written, hand-colored letters covering topics from career goals to mascot Bully. "Thank you for sharing your university with us," one student wrote. "I liked learning about MSU! I think Bully is cute. When I grow up I want to be an artist."
For more on No Excuses University, visit http://noexcusesu.com/.