Students hop on the college train

From the Courier News (Elgin, IL):

“Hail, Knox all glorious! Unto thee we sing” filtered through Kimberly Scanlon’s second-grade classroom at Hanover Countryside Elementary School Thursday.

Even though Knox College in Galesburg is not yet their alma mater, these second-graders are daring to dream the college life.

The song was the students’ way of welcoming Knox’s president, Roger Taylor, who visited the class to deliver a hard-to-find Knox T-shirt and work with the students on their own personal college seal.

“Knox College changed my life,” Taylor told students. “I grew up on a farm in western Illinois and I was the first to get a college degree. My dad died, but my mom, grandma and grandpa encouraged me to think about going to college….

Students may not comprehend what the real benefits of college are, but they’re trying.

Knox and its president have adopted Scanlon’s classroom after Hanover Countryside was selected as a “No Excuses University” school. That means that students at Hanover Countryside constantly encounter reminders that each of them is expected to work hard, behave responsibly, and achieve impressively — no excuses to not go on to college.