Dixie State University Trailblazers visit Washington County Elementary Schools

 Sunset Elementary Principle Anthony Horrocks with Brooks the Bison from the DSU children's book. DSU student teachers present university’s new identity and benefits of attending college ST. GEORGE, Utah, April 16, 2016 – Following the announcement of its new Trailblazers identity, Dixie State University has taken to Washington County elementary schools to share the news and encourage children to start thinking ahead about college. During D-Week, 25 of Washington County’s elementary schools held assemblies where DSU Education student teachers presented on the impact a college education can have. As part of the assemblies, each child received the illustrated children’s book, “A History of Trailblazers: A Bison’s Tale,” told by Brooks the Bison, DSU’s new mascot. One of the many schools visited by Dixie State was Sunset Elementary. “It was exciting,” Sunset Elementary Principle Anthony Horrocks said. “Even though, for these kids, college can seem so far out there, time goes by so quick. And if we’re not starting now, getting them ready for that step, then it can sneak up on them.” As a STEM school, Sunset focuses on twenty-first century skills, one of which, Horrocks explained, is college readiness. ““This to me, was a good connection with our local university,” Horrocks, who is a Dixie State Alumnus, said. “We’ve got to have collaboration. We need to make sure these kids are prepared.” DSU student teachers Taylor Mann and Berkely Platt teamed up to present the benefits of going to college for Sunset’s assembly on Thursday along with an announcement of what the new identity is, just before Horrocks read the DSU children’s book aloud to the audience.
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“I love that DSU has tied these identity assemblies in with the benefits of going to college, because I don’t remember ever learning about college when I was this young,” Mann, a student teacher of a first grade class and former DSU basketball player said. “I think the more you’re exposed to it and the more you think about it, the more likely you are to go.” As far as the identity change has gone, Mann said she feels like the Red Storm identity never quite settled in with the community, but the Trailblazers identity is, and these assemblies have been helping in that regard. “We’re presenting to the kids and they’re getting excited about it and telling their parents,” Mann said. “It’s taking root in the younger generation.” The only negative aspect of the rebrand Mann expressed was not being able to play basketball as a Trailblazer. “I just finished my senior year and I am seriously so sad that I was not a trailblazer! I’m just picturing what Trailblazers would look like across the jersey,” she said. The children’s book, authored by Dr. Jordon Sharp, DSU’s chief marketing and communication officer, and illustrated by DSU student Colton Simmons Campbell, was also distributed at the university’s unveiling event and will be sent to every home in Washington County. For more information about the story behind the Dixie State University Trailblazers identity, visit dixie.edu/identity.