The Kansas Wetlands Education Center had some special guests for the Cheyenne Bottoms Naturalists program on Saturday.
A group of foster children from Great Bend and Wichita visited the center to learn about how snow is formed. They also did crafts and viewed live animals. These teenage girls are part Kansas Kids @ Gear Up, a program designed to increase the number of students in foster care who graduate from high school.
“This a great facility to visit,” said Kansas Kids @ Gear Up Regional Coordinator Regina Rose. “Besides all the projects they have for the group, there is so much to see and do. The girls really enjoyed coming out here today.
“The Kansas Kids @ Gear Up is designed to help these young people with the understanding of what it takes to get into college and it is there to guide them and teach them the proper skills to get enrolled and be able to get through their first year,” Rose said.
KKGU is a U.S. Department of Education-funded program administrated by Wichita State University. Children in foster care are given top priority for services.
KKGU objectives include:
• Each year, at least 80 percent of KKGU students enrolled in secondary school will be promoted to the next grade level.
• Each project year, 70 percent of participating high school seniors will complete a secondary school diploma, or its recognized equivalent, and 65 percent will enroll in a postsecondary program.
• Each project year, middle and high school participants will show a 20 percent increase, and their parents a 15 percent in knowledge of postsecondary education entrance requirements, application procedures, and costs associated with attendance and types of financial aid.
Region 4 in western Kansas, which includes Great Bend, offers a variety of services specifically designed to enhance middle and high school students’ academic careers. Region 4 strives to provide local and long-distance services to students in foster care in 46 counties.
For more information about the program call the Barton County Academy, 620-792-7995.