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National GEAR UP Week Resources

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2016 National GEAR UP Week: September 19 – 23, 2016

GEAR UP programs, schools, families, and partners across the celebrate National GEAR UP Week annually in September.  The purpose of this event is to highlight the positive impact that GEAR UP  has on students, families, schools, and communities all over the nation.

The National Council for Community and Education Partnerships offers many resources for GEAR UP programs to plan for celebrating GEAR UP Week. In addition, here are some ideas on how GEAR UP Kentucky schools can celebrate National GEAR UP week:

Talk about what it means to be a GEAR UP student
Give students the “What is GEAR UP Kentucky? fact sheet and talk about why it’s important to go to college. Encourage the students to share the fact sheet with their parents.

Create a “Chain of GEAR UP Dreams”
Give each student a strip of paper to write their academic, professional, and personal goals on it. Link them together to form a GEAR UP Chain of Dreams and take a group picture of students with their chain. Be sure to email it to the GEAR UP Kentucky office at or tweet it and tag us at @GEARUPToday–we will share them on our social media sites and send  them to your U.S. Senators and U.S. House Representatives in Washington, DC.

Host a College Trivia Contest
Each morning of the week, announce a College Trivia Question of the Day over the intercom (or on your school Facebook page). Questions could be about specific Kentucky colleges, facts about the GEAR UP program, or myths about college. Have students post answers to the question in a different public place and give a prize for the first correct answer posted each day. Variation: Highlight a different Kentucky college during morning announcements each month; give teachers a PowerPoint to use as a visual during the announcements.

Organize a GEAR UP-Themed Scavenger Hunt
Create a scavenger hunt throughout the school that has GEAR UP students locating  important college planning resources like find the GEAR UP office or print off your Career Interest Inventory in your ILP. Announce winners at a pep rally at the end of the week. Variation: Hide GEAR UP logos with college facts printed on the back all over the school and give a prize to the student who finds the most.

Have an Alumni Day
Invite recent graduates who are now in college to come back for a day and share their college experience with students.

Create an over‐sized “Thank you” card to send to your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative.
Explain to students that GEAR UP is a program funded by the federal government, so it’s important that our legislative leaders know that GEAR UP is important to Kentucky students. With the National GEAR UP Week logo in the middle, have students, staff, parents and partners sign the card with their thanks, take a picture, and deliver to your elected official’s District Office.

Have a College Spirit Day!
Ask students, teachers and staff to sport their best college gear and/or decorate a bulletin board, prominent area in the cafeteria, or their classroom doors to display their dream career and college. Have a discussion in a GEAR UP event and/or homeroom about goal setting, college opportunity, and career goals. Take photos and email it to the GEAR UP Kentucky office or tweet it and tag us at @GEARUPToday– we will share them on our social media sites and share them with our state and national education leaders.

Introduce students to the KnowHow2GOKy website:

For more tips on planning activities to celebrate National GEAR UP Week, check out this NCCEP 30-minute webinar