WHITTIER, Calif. – Nothing says college like a pennant – an idea the new Rio Hondo College pennant takes quite literally.

The pennant, distributed by Rio Hondo College to every class at El Monte’s historic Valle Lindo School District, represents the opening stages of a pilot effort by the community college to open youngsters’ eyes to the possibilities of a higher education. The district serves students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

“I’m going to Rio Hondo College!” reads the golden-hued pennant, designed by the College’s marketing and communications team.

College leaders said they wanted to create a symbol to inspire students to consider their future educational options, including Rio Hondo’s diversity of programs, student-centered services and strong educational opportunities.

“Every student should consider college as a pathway to success,” said Rio Hondo College Superintendent/President Teresa Dreyfuss. “If our pennants can serve as a daily reminder that helps prompt them to consider college, and especially Rio Hondo, that would be terrific.”

The school started with Valle Lindo because, during two September Back to School visits, College officials discovered just two Rio Hondo pennants on display at one of the district’s two schools. Within a few weeks, Rio Hondo’s communications team designed, produced and delivered more than 60 new pennants.

Valle Lindo Superintendent Mary Louise Labrucherie said she’s a believer. She’s ensured the pennants are prominently displayed across the district’s elementary and middle school.

“We have a pennant in every classroom. All of our teachers have put them up,” Labrucherie said. “The kids have been told about this wonderful college, and hopefully, if they see this pennant every day, it will inculcate into their minds that they will want to go there when they grow up.”

The “I’m going to Rio Hondo College!” is just the beginning.

Rio Hondo is working on plans to extend the pennant pilot program to schools in each of the College system’s five districts. Already, a second pennant featuring the school’s Roadrunner mascot has been created.