July 8, 2010/Parents Support Local Education Efforts by Completing Projects
Parents from 10 Oklahoma schools have successfully completed school-improvement projects as part of a leadership program that encourages and trains parents to become more effective advocates for their local schools. The program, the Oklahoma GEAR UP Parent Leadership Academy, educates parent volunteers on school data, team building and leadership skills.
The 2009-10 parent leadership teams are from Amber-Pocasset Public Schools, Ardmore Middle School, Broken Bow High School, Dickson Public Schools, Durant High School, Eagletown Public Schools, Lawton Eisenhower High School, Mountain View-Gotebo High School, Tulsa Carver Middle School and Turner Public Schools.
After completing their training, each parent team was awarded a $3,000 grant from GEAR UP to implement a local project. The project must involve other parents, improve student achievement and have a lasting impact in the district. This year’s parent projects provided a variety of classroom supplies and student services, including new science lab equipment and math survival kits, peer and parent tutoring programs, computer technology, and college readiness workshops.
"Many parents want to be active and supportive in their children’s education, not only at home but at school as well,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “The Parent Leadership Academy engages parents and educators to become active partners. By working together – family, school and community – our students are provided the best possible environment for academic success.”
Now entering its third year, the Parent Leadership Academy has helped more than 93 parents complete projects that have provided much-needed programs and supplies to help improve academic achievement in 24 schools.
"We’re proud of our Parent Leadership Academy graduates. We’re proud of their projects and admire their dedication and creativity,” said Johnson. “Our public schools need a supportive community. Our goal is for the parents who participated in the academy to continue this work, not only in their schools but also by helping with the challenges facing other parents and schools by inspiring more parents to become involved.”
For more information about the GEAR UP Parent Leadership Academy, visit www.okhighered.org/gearup or call (800) 858-1840.
View list of funded project descriptions (Word doc, 29K).
GEAR UP, a federally funded program administered by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, helps prepare middle and high school students for college through academic preparation programs and scholarships for students, professional development activities for educators and college access information for students and parents.
The U.S. Department of Education awarded Oklahoma with state GEAR UP grants totaling $20.5 million in August 1999 and $20.6 million in August 2005. The grants have been matched by more than $47 million from state and partner resources. With the addition of the 2005 multi-year, federal grant, Oklahoma’s GEAR UP program will ultimately receive more than $45.6 million in federal funds by 2011. GEAR UP receives 49 percent of total funding from the federal government and 51 percent from other organizations.