OXFORD — The Oxford Hills School District community is being asked to participate in the Oct. 22 Aspire Higher march.

“This is a march, not a parade, in support of students’ aspirations,” Superintendent Rick Colpitts told the board of directors at its meeting Monday night.

The annual event recognizes the importance of having post high school goals and aspirations.

From about 75 participants the first year to more than 1,000 a decade later, the Aspire Higher march has become an annual event to promote ongoing education.

The march was started about 14 years ago as part of the school district’s aspirations campaign to encourage students and their parents to think about students’ futures after high school and how secondary education could play a vital role in their success.

Colpitts said he hoped all students and staff would march, and he is asking parents and others in the eight SAD 17 towns to join them.

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“We encourage them to get in line and join the march,” he said. Participants will step off at the Oxford Hills Middle School on Pine Street in Paris at 10 a.m. and march down Route 26 to Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School.

Goals for continuing education are not something that can be developed in a vacuum. While some students have the internal drive and motivation to set and attain personal goals, others need support from parents and the community.

The school district provides opportunities for the community to support students in raising aspirations through community-based activities, such as college fairs and guest speakers.

Later in the fall, more than 60 Aspire Higher Scholarships, donated by Oxford Hills businesses and community members, will be awarded in assemblies at each  district school. Each year, students who walk in the Aspire Higher march are eligible to enter a drawing for a $100 scholarship.

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