Carol Rapstine
coordinator of work study/student employment, Office of Financial Aid, (308) 865-8520

Nearly 100 fourth grade students from six Central Nebraska communities have registered to attend the 11th annual Early Awareness Day Tuesday, March 23, at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

The elementary school students, who are from Amherst, Axtell, Elm Creek, Litchfield, Odessa and Pleasanton, will begin their day with a 9 a.m. General Session in Cushing Coliseum. From there, students will tour the campus, and attend presentations and demonstrations at locations across campus.

Among the presentations are glassblowing, chemistry magic show, planetarium show, construction management demonstration and a radio/TV session in the Mitchell Communications Center. Students will also get to tour Ludden, Stout and Conrad Halls. By the end of the day, students will have had an opportunity to attend all of the sessions.

Carol Rapstine, UNK Financial Aid counselor, said: “We host this event each year to give these young people a glimpse of college life in hopes that it will spark an interest in furthering their education.

Rapstine credited the efforts of the Nebraska Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NeASFAA) for their support of Early Awareness Day and the Look to the Future curriculum.

“The Look to the Future curriculum was originally developed for fourth grade students in 1992 by Maureen Hoy, a fourth grade teacher in Omaha,” Rapstine said. “The curriculum was offered to all elementary schools in Nebraska, and it has been picked up by several schools across the state.”

In the Kearney area, Pleasanton, Axtell, Amherst and Elm Creek added the curriculum and have been visiting UNK on Early Awareness Day for the past 10 years. This year, Litchfield and Odessa fourth grade students will also attend.

At UNK, the event is sponsored jointly by the Office of Financial Aid, the Kearney EducationQuest Foundation, the Nebraska College Savings Plan and ASAP/Union Bank and Trust.

UNK faculty and staff involved in Early Awareness Day include: Dr. Frank Kovacs, chemistry; Dr. Jose Mena-Werth, physics; Darrell Morris, UNK head football coach; Elizabeth Kronfield, art; Dr. Keith Terry, communications; Dr. Larry Kuskie, industrial technology; Andrea Thede, Ludden Hall director; John Nuxoll, Stout Hall director; and UNK students Ben Tworek, Lorraine Musquiz and Breann Horn.