Former U.S. Second Lady talks to educators

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Teachers from 26 states are talking about how to give kids in rural places the best chance to be ready for college.

It’s part of a Rural College Access and Success Summit hosted by Berea College.

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Tuesday’s keynote speaker was Dr. Jill Biden.

The purpose of this conference was to talk about rural communities and how to make sure that students in those communities are ready for college.

Organizers say though you often associate college readiness with high school students, preparation actually starts well before then.

“It starts with pregnancy,” said Angie Boggs with Save the Children. “Exposing the child to the language, to the literacy, to the experiences that get the child ready. It doesn’t start when they enter that first day of kindergarten. It starts much earlier.”

Former Second Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden says college and career readiness is necessary for success and it’s teachers’ jobs to make sure they’re ready.

But, she knows doing that in a rural setting can be hard, especially when often, kids don’t have people at home helping.

She says some rural parts of Kentucky have increased the number of high school graduates that are college ready from 49 percent to 70 percent since 2013.

Though that increase is good, she says if the state wants to stay on the upward path, it needs to put a focus on pre-k and elementary level students.

She says educators are in the best position to make a change in someone’s life, and to help students succeed.