As project director for GEAR UP Virginia, it is my pleasure to welcome you to the GEAR UP Virginia website.
For those who are visiting our site for the first time, you may be interested to know that the GEAR UP program was authorized by the United States Congress in 1998. Since then GEAR UP grants have been awarded to 46 states and four territories and serve more than 739,000 students. The purpose of the program is to foster increased knowledge, expectations, and preparation for postsecondary education among all students, including those from low-income families. The first grants were awarded in August of 1999. SCHEV began serving seventh-graders that year, with the intention of providing continuing services to the cohort of students as they progressed through high school. In 2006, SCHEV received its current GEAR UP award.
At GEAR UP Virginia, we believe that every child should have the opportunity to attend college and have a successful future. Our GEAR UP project presently provides services to over 4,000 students attending 36 high schools in 25 school divisions across Virginia. Services to students include tutoring, career awareness, college-readiness counseling, and much more. Services also are provided to their parents and teachers. Research shows that parental involvement is an important part of student achievement, so we encourage parents to attend meetings and events with their children. Additionally, in order to promote school reform, GEAR UP sponsors training opportunities for teachers and school administrators covering topics such as curriculum reform and college access issues.
I invite you to view the information presented herein about our program.