Yes! Our Kids Can, a program that was first piloted at Austin Elementary last school year, is being implemented at Harlingen CISD elementary schools for students in pre-kindergarten and first grade.
“Yes! Our Kids Can is trying creating a mindset in the kids to make them understand that anyone can go to college,” said Lori Romero, Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education. “It is about planting that seed at a very early age.”
YOKC consists of fifteen minutes of teacher-led lessons each day which help students envision a brighter, more successful future by exposing them to the idea of post-secondary education through songs, games, and puzzles.
“Yes! Our Kids Can is a small part of the day, but it can be a very effective part of the day,” said Austin principal Magda Gonzalez. “It focuses on encouraging kids to attend college, letting them know that it is possible for them and shows them the different types of careers that are available.”
Parents also receive weekly text messages in both English and Spanish about what their child is learning along with tips for positive reinforcement and discussion.
YOKC is now a reality districtwide thanks to a generous donation from Warren Tichenor, a former student at Austin Elementary and the 16th U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.