District Commemorates National GEAR UP Week with Kickoff Celebration at Bloomfield Middle | Community Spirit
The Bibb County School District GEAR UP Program, Create Your Future, and its community partners kicked off the start of National GEAR UP Week (September 23-27, 2013) with a celebration Monday, September 23, at Bloomfield Middle School. The weeklong celebration commemorates the continuing success of Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), a college access program providing students and families with the resources they need for college success.
The GEAR UP grant was first awarded to the District in 2011 to follow a cohort of students from what was then their sixth and seventh grade years through their graduations in 2017 and 2018. Students in the cohort are now in the eighth and ninth grades. To date, 3,600 students from the District's middle schools have been served. The students enjoy support services such as Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) tutorial, mentoring, summer camps, and college tours to help make their dream of attending college a reality.
Create Your Future is a partnership of the Bibb County School District, Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Georgia, Communities In Schools, Fort Valley State University, The Mentors Project of Bibb County, Mercer University, SunTrust Bank, Wesleyan College, and the Museum of Aviation Foundation.
"GEAR UP: Create Your Future is a community partnership that supports college access for all students. With the intensive services provided to our cohort students, we believe every student will graduate college ready," said Janice Flowers, GEAR UP Project Director for the District. "It is the goal of GEAR UP to increase the high graduation rate and families’ knowledge of post-secondary options, preparation and financing."
During the kickoff celebration, representatives from Macon and Bibb County presented proclamations dedicating the week as GEAR UP Week in the city and county.
GEAR UP celebrations also will take place at each of the District's middle and high schools throughout the week. Events will celebrate the success of students, parents, staff, volunteers and partners. Some activities scheduled include a funeral for “I Can’t” at Weaver Middle School, a balloon release, college tours for parents and students, and motivational speaking engagements.
A "GEAR UP for Science Fair" event will be held Tuesday, September 24, from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Munroe Science Center on Wesleyan College's campus. This event will feature sessions on generating testable hypotheses for science fair projects, experimental design and data analysis, and effective science fair board presentations. Parents and students are invited to attend.