King, Moulton 5th Graders are ISU 4U Promise “Shining Stars”
Last Friday after school a constellation of “shining star” 5th grade students field-tripped to the Science Center of Iowa to help formally dedicate and reopen its Star Theater Planetarium. It was the latest in a series of missions under the auspices of the ISU4U Promise, an innovative partnership between King and Moulton elementary schools and Iowa State University. Students who complete fifth grade at King or Moulton will be eligible for tuition awards to ISU upon graduation from a DMPS high school if they qualify for admission.
Before they were treated to a whirlwind tour of the solar system the students were addressed by ISU President Dr. Steven Leath, ISU 4U Promise Director Katherine Bruna, and Curt Simmons, CEO of the Science Center.
The 5th grade cohorts at both schools participated in a “Shining Star” essay contest. They wrote about strong, positive influences in their lives, character traits that will fuel their journey to college and their personal dreams and ambitions. Bruna and other ISU4U staff reviewed all of the entries and selected two winners from each school who got to read their essays aloud and also received some cool ISU swag.
Moulton’s winners were Gerald Norton and Aleese Block-Lafferty. From King, Jennaijha Lee and Roland Kahn were recognized.
Then it was on with the celestial show! Around the solar system in 30 minutes in the comfort of front row seats in the planetarium.
Earth, Wind & Fire’s hit song Shining Star wasn’t playing as a soundtrack except perhaps in the subconscious minds of the students and parents who were taking the tour:
You’re a shining star
No matter who you are
Shining bright to see
What you could truly be
The sky is the limit thanks to ISU’s groundbreaking commitment to kids at King and Moulton. “But first,” as one of the winning essays concluded, “we have to finish 5th grade.”