Local Seventh- and Eighth-Grade Students Learn to GO BIG During Eastern Oklahoma State College’s GEAR UP Summer Camps
Four hundred sixty–five local seventh- and eighth-grade students learned how to “GO BIG with GEAR UP” during Eastern Oklahoma State College’s GEAR UP summer camps.
Eastern’s GEAR UP grant program partnered with FOCUS Training to host seven camps for students. This year's camps prepared students for the challenges and opportunities of school life.
The students experienced the life of a typical college student at Eastern by experiencing instruction in a college classroom setting, sleeping in the residence halls and dining in the cafeteria.
This year’s theme, GO BIG, explored five areas of leadership: Big Team, Big Vision, Big Talk, Big Image, and Big Impact. All sessions were interactive with students moving about and working in large and small groups.
Big Team focused on relationship building techniques and making connections to other GEAR UP students. Campers walked away with new friends and new skills.
Big Vision helped students learn about the importance of continuous learning and creating plans for their educational future.
Big Talk revealed that students with strong interpersonal communication skills are more confident, more successful socially, and better able to self–advocate. Students focused on learning to manage the communication relationship and make them understood.
Big Image helped students see how their actions relate to their success. It’s never too early to start thinking about your future career and the choices that should be made to get you there.
Big Impact gave students the opportunity to share their Big Plan with peers. Students gave and received feedback and challenged each other to attain their goals.
The program also included a community service component to teach the importance of giving back to the community. Through email, social media and a benefit dance–a–thon, students raised over $1,200 for the American Red Cross to be donated to the Moore Tornado Relief, with the help of friends and family.
At the end of the camp, students gave group presentations to share the goals created in each session with the other students and staff members. Students then graduated from the camp and also received awards recognizing extraordinary teamwork, enthusiasm and participation.
The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a federal initiative to increase the number of low-income students who enter and successfully transition into postsecondary education. Eastern will receive more than $12.6 million during a seven-year period to help students and educators in 30 partner schools. The camp was free to GEAR UP participants.