Nov. 22, 2010/State Regents' GEAR UP Program Awards $143,500 to
Lawton Public Schools
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education announced today the award of $143,500 to Lawton Public Schools to fund professional development for teachers so they can continue to strengthen learning opportunities and increase student achievement. In addition, the money provides much-needed funding for financial aid education, student tutoring, mentoring, college prep activities, career exploration and parent workshops.
"Our goal is for every student in Lawton to have the opportunity to go to college. We must prepare our students by providing strong academic experiences, financial aid guidance, parent education and community support,” said former State Regent Bill W. Burgess Jr. “The teacher-parent-community partnership is essential to helping our students be successful in pursuing their college dreams and building strong foundations for the future.”
The subgrants are provided by the State Regents’ college access program GEAR UP, a federally funded program designed to help prepare middle and high school students for college.
"The federal dollars from the GEAR UP college access subgrants give us the opportunity to provide training and materials for teachers as we work collaboratively to improve learning and raise the educational expectations of our students,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “We are fortunate to have these dollars to put into Lawton classrooms so teachers can directly prepare students for college.”
In addition to providing resources for Lawton’s educators, monies are being used to continue efforts with Cameron University and the Army Partnership with Lawton Area Schools (APLAS). APLAS provides mentors to students in the areas of reading, writing, math and peer-related cultural issues.
Also, grant funds are helping implement the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program to raise students’ expectations and help them attain their academic and postsecondary goals. AVID helps students learn organizational, critical thinking and study skills; offers peer and college tutoring; and allows students the opportunity to participate in enrichment and motivational activities.
"This funding equips teachers with resources and skill sets necessary when building academically strong students,” said Johnson. “Our community partners expand these efforts and provide the extra support and experiences needed for students and their families to be successfully prepared for college.”
Since 1999, the State Regents’ GEAR UP program has awarded more than $440,000 for college access activities in Lawton.
"We greatly appreciate this grant money, especially during these difficult economic times,” said Barry Beauchamp, superintendent of Lawton Public Schools. “This investment in training and resources allows us to stretch our state and local dollars and keeps our students moving forward toward successful and prosperous futures.”
For more information on GEAR UP, visit www.okhighered.org/gearup or call (800) 858-1840.
View list of funded project descriptions.
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.