National Council for Community and Education Partnerships

National GEAR UP Week

September 23-27, 2019


About GEAR UP Week

Join thousands of students, parents, teachers, partners and college access professionals from across the nation to celebrate GEAR UP and the successes of your hard work and dedication.

National GEAR UP Week is an opportunity for you to raise awareness in your community about the positive impact GEAR UP is having locally. It's a time to engage all your stakeholders - local, state and federal elected officials; funders; partners; and media - to share your program's accomplishments and to get them more involved with your services to students and families. Let's  commemorate your hard work and the progress our students are making towards achieving their life-long dream of going to college!


Need Inspiration? 

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Public policy


As they say, all politics is local. GEAR UP Week is a great time to highlight your local needs, efforts, and position your leaders in visible ways to address issues of college readiness. Get GEAR UP on your school board's agenda; host a forum between local K12 and higher education leaders to discuss shared challenges and opportunities; invite your mayor to speak at your school events.


While there will be a national proclamation from the U.S. Congress and the Secretary of Education, get your local leaders involved and ask them to formally proclaim September 23-29, 2018 GEAR UP Week in your city. Partner up with other GEAR UP programs in your state and get your governor to proclaim it statewide as well!


Since your House and Senate members are the ones responsible for GEAR UP, we can’t leave them out of the fun. Reach out and invite your members to speak at your rally or forum; have students write letters of appreciation; and encourage members to participate in your social media campaign

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Build Awareness

Community Engagement

Consider how your local and regional GEAR UP outreach and partnership work can be timed to coincide with National GEAR UP Week. Use the week to reach out to families through workshops, dinners, and weekend programs; engage the faith-based community to provide workshops after service; or create a forum for business leaders to discuss the importance of education.


It’s imperative that the public understand why and how we do what we do. Create a poster for organizations and businesses to show their support; work with your public relations office in your district or institution to invite media coverage for your events; write an op-ed in your local paper; send out a press release.


Too often we talk about education in abstract terms or in a national context. Help people understand the local conversation by sharing research on the local situation and host a "did you know?" campaign on social media; have your students create a documentary; and engage your public broadcasting to illustrate local stories. 


Celebrate at Your Schools


National GEAR UP Week is a great opportunity to ask students to articulate and share their college and career aspirations. This creates momentum for our work and provides formal and informal teachable moments. Create a dream wall where students post their dreams; host a balloon release; or create a dream chain in classrooms that create connections between students.


Have a big, annual, school-wide event planned? Implement it during GEAR UP Week and get extra bang for your buck. Host a college pep rally; have a college scavenger hunt; or host a college trivia competition. Get teachers and administrators telling their stories and sharing their experiences!


Help students find the power in their stories. Create a school-wide #IHeartGEARUP campaign on social media; create a video competition about why college matters; have students write letters to their future-selves about what they hope to achieve in school, college and beyond! 



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GEAR UP Week Resources




  • Download the National GEAR UP Week logo (PDF to Print)

  • Download the National GEAR UP Week logo (image)

  • Download the "One in a Million" sign (PDF to Print)

  • Download the “One in a Million” sign (image)

  • Download the #I<3GEARUP / #IheartGEARUP sign (PDF to Print)

  • Download the #I<3GEARUP / #IheartGEARUP sign (image)

  • Download the 2018 GEAR UP Fact Sheet. You can share this with GEAR UP stakeholders and decision-makers to give them an idea of GEAR UP at the national level.

  • Proclamation Request Template – Use this letter template to request a proclamation for National GEAR UP Week from your Senators, Representatives, Governor, Mayor, Councilmembers, etc. Just download this Word document, fill in the blanks, and contact the appropriate people in your city or state who can help facilitate the proclamation process.

  • Proclamation Template – Attach this proclamation template to your proclamation request to save you time! Just fill in the blanks with information about your GEAR UP program.

  • Student Letter to Member of Congress – Want to involve your students in reaching out to Members of Congress? Use this letter template as a guide to help students share their GEAR UP stories!

  • Sample Invitation – If you are holding an event during National GEAR UP Week and want to invite some special people, you can use this sample invitation as a starting point. Fill in the details about your event and send to special guests!

  • Sample Agenda – Here is another sample that you can use for your event – just fill in with your event details and have copies for attendees!

  • Sample Timeline – Sometimes, events take a lot of thought and planning. This sample timeline can give you an idea of elements to consider during the planning stage. Get together with your team, plan a timeline for your event using this sample guide, and have a great GEAR UP Week!


  • Media Advisory - This template is to notify media outlets in your area to cover the event you are hosting. Media advisories are distributed ahead of the event so that outlets can schedule and plan to cover your event.

  • Press Release - This template will help you create some "buzz" about your event. You can send it out before or after the event takes place, just make sure you edit it accordingly!

  • Op-Ed: Guidelines & Talking Points - Op-eds are a great way to raise awareness about GEAR UP at the local and regional level. Follow the tips and use the template in this resource to submit your op-ed to your news outlet.

Community Toolkits