LA PUENTE, CA – A group of Edgewood Academy kindergarten students wearing black and orange Princeton T-shirts roared as they chanted their college cheer: “We are the mighty Tigers – hear us roar! We want to go to college so we can learn more!” the kindergartners called out, lifting their arms in excitement.

Edgewood Academy and Van Wig Elementary School have been recognized as official No Excuses Universities (NEU) for inspiring students to pursue higher education after high school. They join Sunkist and Don Julian elementary schools, ensuring that all Bassett Unified elementary school students and parents are exposed to college and university options.

“Spreading the awareness and the culture of higher education is one of the key statements that we deliver to our students on a daily basis,” Edgewood Academy Principal Monica Portugal said. “It is important for our students to know that as long as they work hard, they will be able to achieve whatever goals they set for themselves.”

Teachers decorate their classrooms with college pennants to familiarize the students with different university options. Each classroom is assigned a university and students wear their college T-shirt every Friday. Teachers discuss different programs, majors and famous alumni from their assigned university to get the students interested in possible higher education institutions.

Students are also immersed in college fairs, campus tours and weekly events and lessons to learn about different campuses. Students are exposed to the college lifestyle by attending UCLA’s “I Go to College” event, where they cheer at collegiate sporting events, experience the rush of college students getting to class and eat in the dining halls.

“Bassett Unified is focused on the success of every student, and these programs create a strong, college-going culture through which our students become excited about their futures,” Superintendent Alex J. Rojas said. “Congratulations to Edgewood Academy and Van Wig Elementary School for inspiring our students every day to succeed.”


121616_BASSETT_NOEXCUSES1: Edgewood Academy kindergarten class roars their Princeton University cheer, learning about college life as part of the school’s No Excuses University program.