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More than 550 Butterfield Elementary students attended an Arizona State University Women’s Basketball game Friday at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe.

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The field trip is part of a partnership between ASU and the local elementary school that began two years ago to promote higher education. Second through fifth grade students were accompanied by teachers and more than 120 parents.

Second-grade teacher Allie Krigbaum, an ASU alumna, first connected the university with her elementary school two years ago with the Sparky Caravan – a pep assembly at Butterfield that featured appearances by ASU coaches Bobby Hurley, Todd Graham and Charli Turner Thorne, as well as players, athletic trainers and school mascot “Sparky.”

It’s the second consecutive “Sparky’s Kids to College” field trip the school has taken to Wells Fargo Arena.

Krigbaum said the event is a way to get students thinking of college at an early age.

“Many of our students in Maricopa don’t think college is an option for them, so starting them thinking about attending college at a young age is really important to us,” she said.

Although the Sun Devils fell to Utah 58-56 Friday, Krigbaum said the experience is an unforgettable event because it’s the first time many students have attended a collegiate  game.

“We really noticed that not only is this field trip really fun, but it emphasizes the college experience and encourages our kids to excel in education,” Krigbaum said. “Exactly what we feel our kids in Maricopa need to see.”


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