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Alligator Army Off Topic: Harlem's Gator Nation Visits Gainesville

Monday, we relayed the story of a class in Harlem that had used the Gators as part of lesson plans in their 7th grad math class. Tuesday and Wednesday, they are in Gainesville. From the Gainesville Sun;

Alexandra Lampel was fearless as she held a squirming baby alligator Tuesday at the University of Florida while her wide-eyed classmates gathered around.

The 13-year-old Harlem resident was similarly confident in explaining how the trip to UF helped reinforce her goal of going to college.

"My sister was the first to graduate from high school, and I want to be the first to graduate from college," she said.

Such a sentiment is exactly what UF graduate Keith Robinson hoped to accomplish in applying a UF theme to his seventh-grade math class. He referred to the students as the "Gator Nation" class, decorated his classroom in orange and blue, and used such items as the alligator video shown before football games as motivational tools.

20 students from Harlem's I.S. 195 are attending Gainesville this week. The students have to achieve certain academic marks to make the trip. Today, the students will visit Shands and football practice. If any of the 20 students who visited end up with a college degree, the Gator themed lesson plan worked. Go Gator.