Notes From the GEAR UP Director Shelley Davis

Summer 2005 | | June 1, 2005 at 2:00 pm

At the beginning of this New Year, we are pleased to share with you more GOOD NEWS from California GEAR UP! In early November, Congress agreed to provide the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) almost $309 million for Fiscal Year 2005. These appropriated funds represent an $11 million increase over Fiscal Year 2004 — a signal of continued bipartisan support for the program. The United States Department of Education will hold annual grant competitions in early Spring 2005 and we are preparing for this opportunity. This is very good news for all of us with GEAR UP! We are making a difference by helping schools, families, and communities become more engaged in, and accountable for, student success.

By the end of this first grant, 3,750 students will have received Educational Trust Awards of $2,000 that will grow to at least $2,500 when they attend college. The awards have been an opportunity both to provide selected students with college resources and to motivate all students at the school to consider college. To further illustrate the importance of these awards, we share the success story of R.J. Frank Intermediate School and the California GEAR UP Trust Awards program on this page.

To date, the California GEAR UP Program has delivered services to 187 middle schools. However, an expansion in the scope and delivery of services is needed to reach more students and families in more communities. To achieve this goal, we have developed special projects that enable us to extend the resources, information, and lessons learned into the community and to engage many more schools in a continued learning process. Three of these projects are featured on the inside pages of this newsletter.

For 2004 – 2005, 63 middle schools are participating in the two-year GEAR UP service model. (see back page) Leading by example, administrators and staff from schools will share their successes and challenges at the GEAR UP Annual Community Conference (see back page). Their commitment to developing a college-going culture is evidenced by high expectations, good teachers, and accountability for results — the right reforms for every school.

With the past and present as our guide, we look forward to another year of collaborating to build
A Bridge To The Future!

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