Confluence Academy-Old North students are ready to experience college tour
Confluence Academy-Old North students are ready to experience college tour
Posted on 05/29/2013

On Friday morning at five o’clock, a charter bus will leave the campus of Confluence Academy-Old North. The bus will be filled with 10 girls, teachers and parent chaperones. From May 31 until June 2, they will spend three days on the road, headed south, to take a tour of historically black colleges and universities.


The first stop is Nashville, Tenn. to visit Fisk University and Tennessee State University. The next stop includes Clark Atlanta University and Spelman College in Atlanta. They will also visit the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change. On Sunday morning, it’s back to St. Louis – just in time for a good night’s sleep to be ready for school on Monday.


The girls are involved in mentoring groups at Old North – Diamonds and Pearls and Young Ladies of Elegance. Diamonds and Pearls is for students in fourth and fifth grade. Young Ladies of Elegance is for girls in grades 6-8. The students meet after school for workshops on etiquette, health and fitness, peer pressure and career exploration. They participate in community service projects and attend community events. The groups are led by Old North teachers and staff – Dionne Cooley, Stanley Johnson, Juanita Maxie-Liggins and LaKisha Martin.


“Our mission is to expose our students to culture and excellence,” said Cooley, who teaches technology.


The girls who are going on the tour are in fifth, sixth and seventh grades. The opportunity to experience a college campus is important, even at what seems to be an early age.


“The college tour is important for the girls at this age because it sparks their interest in college. They will be exposed to college students who have the same background as they do and who have defeated the odds,” said Cooley.


“With this exposure, the students are given confidence and they’ll see that through hard work, they can also become college students and successful adults,” she said.


The itinerary outlines the tour stops, meal times and what to wear. Students are encouraged to wear college tour T-shirts for the campus visits. For dinner, they will wear skirts, slacks, blouses or dresses. While on the road, they can wear comfortable clothes.


Pics from ON staffThe students have worked hard to prepare for the trip, including raising money. In April, they scheduled a car wash with a local car detailing business, but it rained and the car wash was canceled. To make up for it, they held a bake sale and dessert auction at school. From cookies to cake pops to brownies and cupcakes, the sale was hit. They had lots of support from teachers throughout the building.


The college tour is an example of Old North’s efforts to build students’ awareness of college and to create the expectation of going to college. Each grade level team, or house, is named after a college or university such as University of Missouri-St. Louis, Saint Louis University, Washington University in St. Louis and many others.

Pics from ON

Pictures courtesy Old North
Top right: Oreo pops from the bake sale and dessert auction to raise money for the HBCU Tour.
Bottom: A view of the cupcake table