Champaign County Community Coalition, Parkland College, Urbana #116, and Unit 4 come together to promote black student excellence. The inaugural “Rising Star” program recognized any 5th, or 8th grade African American student that has shown academic promise and/or academic excellence.
Using a variety of data sets (including MAP, IAR, attendance, discipline, etc.) both Urbana and Champaign school districts identified the top 100 students in the two designated grade levels that also attended 90 percent or more of their school days. Students and families gathered to celebrate these academic achievements. The program was a graduation style ceremony with guest speakers from Parkland College, the City of Champaign, a student ambassador, and both superintendents. Students were given commemorative stoles and certificates of their achievement while getting to share the hands of their district super intendants. Attendees dressed in college and Greek paraphernalia to celebrate this group of amazing scholars.
In an article from The News Gazette, Champaign County Community Coalition leader Tracy Parsons said “Often the students that are struggling get most of the attention. We wanted to recognize these students, tell them great job and be supportive of their achievement — we have to be very intentional about our support for Black students in the district”