Gear Up Grants Push Higher Education

Mar 23, 2012

Schools across the Commonwealth found out Friday whether they were selected for Gear Up grants. Gear Up is an acronym for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. Jennifer Kendall, principal of Leestown Middle, the only school in Fayette County to receive a Gear Up grant, says the money enable schools to get a quick handle on how students might perform in a college setting.

"Our seventh graders take the EXPLORE test which is the middle school version of a predictor  of how well they'll do on the ACT once they get to high school, so that we can start targeting some of the weaker areas and augmenting some of the strong areas in which our students score," she says.

From there, the program follows the students through high school, giving them early opportunities to tour college campuses and other post-secondary school options. All in all, the grants, handed out to 29 schools, total $26.9 million dollars.