11.16.11 PR RE How Grant Will Benefit Students

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Office of Communications and Marketing Trish McBeath | 918-465-1804 or Karli Davis | 918-465-1803 Area schools learn how Eastern’s $12.6 million GEAR UP grant will benefit students WILBURTON, OK (Nov. 16, 2011) – More than 100 area public school teachers, counselors and administrators met at Eastern Oklahoma State College today to learn how the college’s $12.6 million GEAR UP grant will help them prepare students for postsecondary education. The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergr
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   Office of Communications and MarketingTrish McBeath| 918-465-1804 orKarli Davis   | 918-465-1803 Area schools learn how Eastern’s $12.6 million GEAR UP grant willbenefit students WILBURTON, OK (Nov. 16, 2011) – More than 100 area public school teachers, counselors andadministrators met at Eastern Oklahoma State College today to learn how the college’s $12.6 millionGEAR UP grant will help them prepare students for postsecondary education.The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a federalinitiative to increase the number of low-income students who enter and successfully transition intopostsecondary education. Eastern will receive $12,625,000 over the next seven years to help studentsin 30 partner schools.Eastern President Dr. Steve Smith welcomed the participants and stressed the need for the program.“We’re all here for the same reason. We’re all trying to encourage the value of education insoutheastern Oklahoma. It’s a challenge, but we all want the best for our students,” Smith said. “ThisGEAR UP grant will make a difference. You’ll see the benefits for your students, teachers andschools.”The GEAR UP for Success program, which starts immediately, will serve current sixth and seventhgrade students throughout high school graduation and college admission. The grant serves 30 partnerschools in six counties, including Antlers, Atoka, Bokoshe, Buffalo Valley, Canadian, Clayton,Crowder, Frink-Chambers in McAlester, Haileyville, Hartshorne, Indianola, Keota, Krebs, LeFlore,McAlester, McCurtain, Moyers, Panama, Panola, Pittsburg, Quinton, Rattan, Red Oak, Savanna, Spiro,Stringtown, Talihina, Tannehill, Whitesboro and Wilburton.Linda Morgan, GEAR UP project director, outlined the objectives of the grant which are: 1) IncreaseGEAR UP student performance/preparation for postsecondary education; 2) Increase the rate of highschool graduation and participation in postsecondary education for GEAR UP students; 3) Increasestudents’ and their families’ knowledge of postsecondary education options, preparation and financing.Morgan said the grant program will provide students and their families with a range of support servicesneeded to prepare for college. Some of the services and activities include tutoring, mentoring,counseling, career advisement, college preparatory courses, summer camps, educational and cultural  field trips, and information about college and financial aid options. Teachers and school administratorscan also participate in professional development opportunities and technology training. All activitiesand workshops will be provided to GEAR UP partner schools at no cost.“Every sixth and seventh grade student at our partner schools is eligible to participate in GEAR UP forSuccess. The program is inclusive and completely free for parents and the schools,” Morgan said.“This grant is going to provide a lot of opportunities for students and teachers. We hope to foster long-term change by creating a positive and pervasive culture for learning in our under-resourced schools.”Photo: Area school representatives met at Eastern Oklahoma State College to learn how the college’s$12.6 million GEAR UP grant will help them prepare students for postsecondary education.
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