Seventh grade students from McKinley, Roosevelt, and Wilson middle schools attended a screening of the documentary, FIRST GENERATION, to kick off their participation in the GEAR UP Program (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs). The director joined the students for a Q&A session following the screening. Filmed over three years, the documentary explores the problem of college access faced by first generation and low-income students. That is an issue that the GEAR UP Program helps to address.
The District is one of 12 Iowa school districts chosen by the Iowa College Student Aid Commission for the second GEAR UP. A $66,000 grant provides enrichment programming and staff support for participating students at the three middle schools. The seven-year project will follow the students as they progress through middle and high school. The students and their parents will receive a variety of services aimed at preparing them academically, financially and inspirationally to enroll and succeed in college.
GEAR UP schools were determined based on having 50% free and reduced lunch enrollment and on participating in the first GEAR UP Program, which concluded last spring.