Educators hold meeting for Gear Up SWV activities

Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 6:23 PM EDT
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ATHENS, W.Va. (WVVA) - Education leaders in the Two Virginias met Wednesday to discuss ways to help students in southern West Virginia graduate from high school. This is done through the Gear Up Southern West Virginia program.

Teachers, students, and parents all converged on Concord University for the meeting.

The goal is to brainstorm ideas in an effort to help this year’s rising seventh and eighth graders graduate from high school and continue on to college.

Kristen O’Sullivan the Director of Gear Up Southern West Virginia says “This is really kind of an incubator of ideas, where we level out the playing field right? Where our student’s ideas are just as important as our administrator’s ideas and right now they’re talking about a lot of things.”

One such idea is a website for tutoring, where these students can go to get help at all hours of the day through their first year of college.

Another idea is to put more art activities into schools, giving students an avenue for expression and creativity.

Alyssa Dinger, an 8th grader at Glenwood Middle School says “Have kids decorate posters to get them involved too, to make them excited to do this and excited to learn about it. So if they’re, like, making an art project, and if they don’t like art we can teach it to them, ask them what they want to that kind of thing.”

National Gear Up Week is also coming up at the end of September, which is a week to raise awareness for the gear up program, and celebrate the hard work and progress of the students.

Dinger: “I just think it should be appreciated. Every one of the people in that room are trying their best to give students the opportunity they need to prosper and grow. I think everyone should have that opportunity regardless of who they are. Regardless of where they grew up.”

Planning has also begun for next year’s summer camps in the program.

In previous years, students traveled to an adventure camp in North Carolina.