CSU, Poudre School District formalize academic, athletic partnership

Stuart Smith

Colorado State University and Poudre School District announced a solidified partnership between the two institutions on Monday.

CSU President Tony Frank and PSD Superintendent Sandra Smyser both spoke of the quality of education from both organizations and the strong connection between the two.

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“These are two of the largest employers (in Fort Collins), and certainly a critical part of this community,” Frank said.

Smyser added later many administrators in the district have ties to the University, with only about ten of the 150 not graduates in some way.

“The leaders in this district have close loyalty to CSU, on a very personal level, because we are alumns,” she said.

No real announcements were made during the half-hour ceremony, but instead served to reiterate the more than half a dozen programs that are already in place between the district and the University.

Those programs include Reading with the Rams, where student athletes at CSU read to elementary school kids in their classrooms, and CSU’s physics program Little Shop of Physics, which visits more than two dozen PSD schools every year along with their free on-campus events.

There are also various days throughout the year when PSD students are invited to tour the campus. Additionally, CSU made commitments to give out scholarship money to students and graduates of Poudre School District, with $3.7 million given to PSD students last year.

“I don’t often get applause for expenditure,” Frank joked after announcing that number.

Frank continued and said they were gathered in the Indoor Rams Club on the sixth floor of the new stadium to plan for the future.

“We want to invest more in it, we want to be more intentional about it, we want to make sure that we don’t miss an opportunity to recognize it, celebrate it, and say thank you to each other for the value of that partnership,” Frank said. “The stronger this partnership is, the stronger I believe the community of Fort Collins will be.”

Lincoln Middle School Athletic Director Tony Garcia said as a teacher he was thankful for the program that is helping his students.

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“This partnership is building a blueprint for our kids,” Garcia said. “There is nothing more powerful than the gift of hope that you instill in a child. When you give someone hope, problems become solved, dreams become reality and impossibles become possible.”

Collegian Assistant News Editor Stuart Smith can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @notstuartsmith.