Harlan County students will be participating in a series of activities Sept. 21-25 to learn about colleges and careers as part of the National GEAR UP Week. GEAR UP is a federal grant program which stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs.
National GEAR UP Week is an opportunity for educators to raise awareness in their school and community about the positive impact GEAR UP is having locally, according to local GEAR UP academic specialists.
It’s a time to engage all your stakeholders — local, state and federal elected officials, funders, partners, as well as local, state and regional media — to share accomplishments and to get them more involved with services to students and families.
The overall purpose is to commemorate the hard work taking place in the schools and to celebrate the progress our students are making toward achieving their lifelong dream of going to college.
In the Harlan County School District, which is participating in the GEAR UP Program through Berea College Partners for Education, various activities are planned. On Monday, teachers had their classroom doors decorated, shared their biographical information and talked with students about their college experiences.
Students will design their own college T-shirts on Tuesday to be posted on their locker for the remainder of the celebration.
The community is asked to join with the district on Wednesday by participating in “College Day.” Teachers and staff will be wearing their college’s shirt and colors. Students will be wearing T-shirts, or school colors, of the college they hope to attend. They will also complete a student profile on future goals.
Local businesses and organizations are asked to join educators on this day by wearing their college apparel.
“This is a great way to show students how important a college education is to them,” said Superintendent Mike Howard. “While students are out in the community, it would be great for them to see the various colleges our community residents attended before getting the jobs they hold today.”
On Thursday, students will hear lectures and other presentations about careers and the salaries associated with them. They will compare and contrast opportunities available to them.
“Dress for Success Day” is Friday. Students will be dressing in character for their desired future jobs. This is a great opportunity for them to dream and to give serious thought to their future plans.
Howard said GEAR UP has been a welcome resource in the district, allowing schools to add additional staff and resources to meet student needs. The program targets lifting educational aspirations of students, building academic skills and created college pathways.
The GEAR UP staff works with students on tutoring/enrichment, academic preparedness, transition to high school and college and career guidance.
Source: Harlan Daily