April Rewerts and Deanna Malyevac
Libby Public Schools are excited to announce that we are beginning our third year of seven as a part of the Montana GEAR UP program.
GEAR UP, an acronym for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is a federal grant that was awarded in September 2011 to the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education for the State of Montana.
The purpose of this federal initiative is to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. GEAR UP serves students as they progress through middle and high school starting in the seventh grade.
GEAR UP goals include:
GOAL 1 — Increase the academic performance and preparation for postsecondary education of GEAR UP students
GOAL 2 — Increase the rate of high school graduation and enrollment in postsecondary education for GEAR UP students
GOAL 3 — Increase GEAR UP students’ and their families’ knowledge of postsecondary education options, preparation and financing.
GEAR UP for students
Libby GEAR UP began serving students in 2011 starting in the seventh grade. Therefore in Libby’s third year, students in grades seven, eight and nine all receive GEAR UP services.
The program provides students with college and career readiness services, such as tutoring, financial aid information, enrollment in rigorous academic courses, comprehensive mentoring and college campus visits.
This year the ninth-grade students will be visiting the Lincoln County Campus of FVCC, the eighth-graders will be visiting Missoula colleges, and the seventh-graders will be visiting the Flathead campus of FVCC. GEAR UP also pays for up-to-date technology that can help students develop 21st century skills.
GEAR UP for parents
Libby GEAR UP works with the students and their support systems of parents and guardians. GEAR UP hosts family events for the purpose of informing everyone in the student’s family about graduation, college and financial aid. The goal is to work together to make the dream of attending college become a reality.
Libby GEAR UP offers activities and services designed specifically for family members, so that they can become more involved in their students’ educations and so that they can help them to succeed.
GEAR UP for teachers
Libby teachers work hard to create well-prepared and successful students. Libby GEAR UP supports our teachers in this endeavor, and gives us the tools we need to do our best in the classroom. GEAR UP provides supplemental curriculum materials and provides money for the professional development of teachers.
What impressed you most about the 2013 GEAR UP STEM day?
“It was amazing. We got to see how to put fish to sleep and how to catch them. The hospital was cool too, because we were able to see our veins.” — Allison Yeadon
What did you think about the GEAR UP summer camp at Montana Tech?
“The summer camp was really fun because we went to this awesome water park that looked like an Egyptian temple with huge water slides. My favorite part of the classes was when we got to go to the river and study the bugs and the fish.” — Caleb Smith
(April Rewerts and Deanna Malyevac are Libby Middle/High School teachers.)