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Schools, parents and students across Kentucky asked to help celebrate National GEAR UP Week

GEAR UP Kentucky is asking students, parents and educators across the state to help celebrate National GEAR UP Week on social media, highlighting the importance of college preparation and success along with the financial and social benefits of higher education.

The national celebration began Monday and runs through Friday.

“GEAR UP Kentucky is delivering services in new and innovative ways this year,” said Kim Drummond, the program’s executive director. “More than ever before, it’s essential that we stay connected with our students, families and schools to help ensure all students are prepared for postsecondary success. We hope everyone will take the opportunity this week to show support for our students and for college attainment overall.”

Drummond said school districts, parents, students, teachers and other community supporters can join the celebration by posting their stories or offering words of encouragement on social media. Supporters can tag GEAR UP Kentucky on Facebook (@GearUpKentucky), Twitter (@GEARUPToday) and Instagram (@kygearup). They are encouraged to use the hashtags: #GEARUPworks and #iheartGEARUP.”

“Our students and schools are facing incredible challenges this year and we know they would appreciate a strong showing for their communities,” Drummond said.

GEAR UP, which stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is a competitive federal grant program designed to increase the rates of high school graduation and entry into postsecondary institutions. It serves more than 560,000 students across 45 states, focusing on schools where more than half of students are eligible for free or reduced lunch.

The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education received a seven-year, $24.5 million federal grant in 2018 to establish the GEAR UP program in Kentucky. It serves all seventh-, eighth- and 12th-graders in a dozen school districts, including:

• Bath County
• Bourbon County
• Bracken County
• Covington Independent
• Fleming County
• Frankfort Independent
• Marion County
• Mason County
• Mercer County
• Paris Independent
• Pendleton County
• Robertson County.

Graduates from these districts will continue to receive support from GEAR UP Kentucky during their first year of college if they attend a partnering postsecondary institution. Those include:

• Eastern Kentucky University
• Kentucky State University
• Morehead State University
• Northern Kentucky University
• University of Kentucky
• Bluegrass Community and Technical College
• Elizabethtown Community and Technical College
• Gateway Community and Technical College
• Maysville Community and Technical College.

From Council on Postsecondary Education

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