Iowans celebrate week devoted to preparing students for college

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A week in September of 2013 has been designated to the college preparation of students.

According to a spokesperson from the Iowa College Student Aid Commission, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has declared the week of September 23 – 27 as GEAR UP Iowa week – GEAR UP- Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs.

The week commemorates successes of GEAR UP Iowa and the GEAR UP programs across the country. The national program started in 1999 and has prepared students for college in low-income, minority, and disadvantaged situations starting when they are in eighth grade. About 7,000 high school seniors are currently involved with GEAR UP Iowa.

On Tuesday, September 24, 2013 an event was held to celebrate National GEAR UP Week. It was held at Central High School in Davenport.

Roughly 80 seniors from Central High School will finish the program at the end of the year.

“They’ve had a specific set of administrators that had been tracking them for these five years and they all of course have passing grades above 2-point grade and will be grading at the end of the year which ultimately was our goal to get them to graduate,” said Associate Principal Charlie Driscoll.

John Gilman, GEAR UP Iowa Project Coordinator, said the mission of the program is to raise the number of students who are ready for the next level of education.

“GEAR UP Week provides the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of our students in Davenport as well as in all of our GEAR UP Iowa communities across the state.”