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Lt. Governor Sheila Simon Visits Springfield Students 

August 22, 2011

Third graders at Feitshans Academy in Springfield got a little surprise visit on their first day of school Monday. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon stopped by while traveling across Illinois. She is kicking off the first full week of school promoting education reforms to combat low college graduation rates.

Simon says - it's never too early to talk about college. In order for Illinois to remain competitive, 60 percent of the working-age population will need to have college credential by the year 2025, hence the reason for visiting third graders.

"These are the people who will be graduating from college" Simon told ABC News Channel 20. "We need to start planting the seed now. And I think that helps us as policy makers have a better appreciation for why we're doing what we're doing."

Simon also told us that not every kid is brought up knowing they can go to college. So she feels it is important to let each young students know it is not only a possibility, but an expectation.

The Lt. Governor also entertained the kids with her banjo playing, singing songs like "This Land is Your Land", and even giving a few of the third graders a few banjo lessons of their own! Simon also visited third graders at elementary schools in Peoria and Bloomington on Monday.