Heart River Choice Ready Event

Heart River Elementary 5th graders listening to a presentation

By: Sherry Leavitt & Toril Sanford, Community Schools Site Coordinator & School Counselor at Heart River Elementary

On Wednesday, March 8th Heart River Elementary’s 5th graders participated in a field trip that introduced them to two choice ready pathways: college and military readiness. Heart River Elementary partnered with Dickinson State University and the Dickinson National Guard Armory to provide this unique experience.

In the morning, our students attended four college class previews, a campus tour, and an informal Q&A lunch with DSU Teacher Education students. The afternoon was spent at the armory where Sgt. Clark and Paralegal Specialist Hamburger shared information about the branches of the military and then led students through a variety of military team building and training exercises. 

 Our time at DSU involved a wide variety of professors, staff, and students so that our 5th graders could see the different support opportunities they would have if they chose a college pathway. Vice President Miller welcomed the students with information about collaboration and the sense of family that is built on college campuses and how that can help them in their future.

The four college class previews allowed our students to experience educational topics that delve deeper into the subjects they are familiar with. Dr. Doherty’s social science class was about different countries around the world and how there are similarities, such as the presence of flags, currency, and central government systems, as well as some of the differences within those categories. Dr. Dragseth’s business class framed economics and the study of barter systems around the idea of an apocalypse. The students were intrigued by the idea that money would have less value than household items that are currently commonplace to them. She also connected to the social science class by giving each student a foreign coin as a memento and a reminder that currency, such as coins, is one type of economic system. Dr. Poland’s agriculture class introduced students to the importance of seeds, planting, and different grains in and around North Dakota. He also inspired pride for our state by sharing statistics about how essential North Dakota is for our national food system. Dr. Strine’s natural science class focused on sharing how specialized student learning can be at college by sharing about his time researching snakes in Thailand. The students were especially impressed when he showed his pet snake from Thailand from the front of the room.

 By the end of the day, it was clear that the goal of the field trip was met as the students excitedly shared their dreams for the future, whether it was learning more through college classes or serving in a branch of the military.