GEAR UP Family Initiatives Project: Reaching Into the School Community

Spring 2008 | | June 4, 2008 at 11:14 am

The Family Initiatives Project (FIP) continues to develop creative ways to strengthen the connection between families and schools.  Project staff focuses on providing information and resources to increase family participation in the overall student life experience.

School-based sessions are designed with input from the School Leadership Team and selected parent facilitators. The curriculum is offered as weekly sessions or through a one-day Family University event. At the invitation of the principal, GEAR UP staff meets with school faculty for an orientation prior to contacting the families.  Trained facilitators are required to have basic knowledge of the school system, be able to establish a positive rapport with families, and have a passion for outreach to the school community.

During the 2007-2008 school year, four GEAR UP schools completed sessions with 133 graduates by January 2008:  Bellflower Middle School (Bellflower), Carnegie Middle School (Carson), Glenbrook Middle School (Concord), and Martin Luther King Academic Middle School (San Francisco).  These schools are planning sessions for the spring semester:  Frick Middle School (Oakland), Martin Luther King Academy (Marin City), Sepulveda Middle School (North Hills), Shadow Hills Intermediate (Palmdale) and Winton Middle School (Hayward).

Project Coordinator Marsha King, Project Assistant Jill Campbell and Project Facilitator Cloteal Herron were presenters at the March 2008 California League of Middle Schools (CLMS) Conference.  Many of the 70 attendees of their session requested additional information about the program and expressed interest in becoming a GEAR UP school!

The Family Initiatives Project brochure can be downloaded from the GEAR UP website, www.castategearup.org from the Publications page.  For additional information, contact Marsha King, Project Coordinator, via email at marsha.king@ucop.edu.

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