A child's hands on a computer

5 digital resources for K-12 students and parents to check out this summer

By

Hannah Moulton Belec

For many years, Arizona families have looked to Arizona State University for a wide array of school year and summer programming, resources, education and inspiration to promote access to higher education for K-12 students. 

Access ASU program offerings include in-school presentations, camps and family engagement opportunities — connecting students and families with information and insight regarding financial aid, grants and scholarships, how to pick a major, resources for first-generation students and much more.

As more students and families continue to socially distance, that work is not only continuing, it is in fact becoming even more accessible than ever online. ASU Director of Educational Outreach and Partnerships Marcelino Quiñonez said that delivering these resources to Arizona families is still crucial. Access ASU teams have pivoted to bring online even more resources that foster a college-going culture in Arizona communities and offer the services and support that help show how higher education can be attainable financially, academically and culturally for all students.

“We’ve always been dedicated to preparing Arizona students for success in college so they can thrive,” Quiñonez said. “We know we can’t slow down even though we’re at home. We will continue to connect with students and families so they have everything they need to know that higher education is attainable for them.”

Families can kick off their summers of college preparedness with these great digital resources thanks to Access ASU.

1. Sparky’s Spotlight

The new Sparky’s Spotlight YouTube series, for which Quiñonez acts as host, features some Spanish and some English episodes that cover frequently asked questions about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, the first step in receiving grants and other financial aid. The series also features conversations with local community members and ASU sources about how to be successful in the transition to college and what higher education means to them.

2. Virtual workshops

When schools are open, Access ASU works with educators and counselors to bring information right to students in their schools. While families are at home, you can take advantage of these resources through a YouTube playlist. Topics include effective note-taking tips, stress management, choosing a major, transitioning from middle school, college readiness 101 and more. 

3. Sparky’s Virtual Experience

Students who want to participate in college readiness workshops, virtual college tours, SPARKS panels and career exploration do not need to wait. Sparky’s Virtual Experience features live sessions with ASU staff and faculty to those interested in learning more about what ASU has to offer. Students in eighth, ninth and 10th grade are eligible to participate. Workshops will be held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for three hours each day. 

4. Summer programs 

The programs that ASU offers every summer to Valley students are online this year. Barrett Summer Scholars and César E. Chávez Leadership Institute participants will have access to college-level coursework, high-energy leadership and engagement in a virtual format. 

5. American Dream Academy Online

ASU’s eight-week program that gives families the tools and confidence to have successful academic careers and prepare for college is now online through Google Classroom. The curriculum is available in both Spanish and English. Find out why parents love this program, which shows how education can be attainable for every family. 

To access American Dream Academy Online, visit the Google Classroom. Join the class as a student using the “plus sign” icon in the upper right corner and enter the corresponding class code: jajpk2r for English and h6hmoyo for Spanish.