GEAR UP Iowa celebrates National GEAR UP Week
Proclamation by Gov. Reynolds among activities highlighting college access program
Schools and students around Iowa are celebrating National GEAR UP Week, recognizing the federal program to increase college attainment for students from low-income school districts. Iowa College Aid administers the $22 million grant that serves more than 8,000 students in 12 Iowa districts.
On Monday, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation of GEAR UP Week, surrounded by GEAR UP Iowa students from Des Moines, Perry, Storm Lake and Sioux City. Reynolds told the students she received a bachelor’s degree just last year and encouraged them to work hard, follow through and not wait on their own college plans because Iowa needs educated workers.
Around the state, schools are celebrating the week with activities such as college spirit day, college trivia bingo, college dream walls and GEAR UP Iowa pep rallies.
GEAR UP Iowa students are currently high school sophomores. The program began when they were seventh-graders and will follow them through their first year of college. Through GEAR UP Iowa, students and families have access to college and career readiness programs, college access coaches and a college scholarship.
The federal GEAR UP grant is matched through in-kind support from more than 30 partners at the state level, making GEAR UP Iowa a $45 million project. GEAR UP Iowa currently serves every 10th-grader in the following school districts:
- Cedar Rapids
- Columbus Junction
- Des Moines
- Fort Dodge
- Sioux City
- Storm Lake