Here in Campbell County, GEAR UP continues playing a successful role for students again this school year.   The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) initiative is one of the largest and most effective programs focused on increasing the college and career readiness of low-income students in communities nationwide.

Next week and the week following, GEAR UP is hosting three events with all of Campbell County Schools 8th grade students.  The schedule is:  Jellico Elementary, Tuesday, January 15th – 9am – 11:30am (Alternate snow day, 01/18), La Follette Middle, Thursday, January 17th – 8am to 11am (Alternate snow day, 01/24) and Jacksboro Middle, Tuesday, January 22nd – 8am to 11am (Alternate snow day, 01/29).

Eighth graders will be introduced to an activity called Adulting 101.  It is designed to help students make budgeting decisions, understand the connection between higher education and career advancement, and experience the consequences and rewards of “adulting.” In the game, each student receives a card that includes their career, their level of education (high school, TCAT, associate degree, bachelor’s degree, or advanced degree), their monthly paycheck, family size and family scenario. With this information, students will become members of the thriving metropolis of Volunteer Station, a fictional Tennessee town, and will need to purchase housing, transportation, utilities, food and home goods, and insurance. This activity is a fun and engaging way to teach students fiscal responsibility.

Students will also play college and career bingo.  Guest speakers will address the students as well.

Members of the community play a part in GEAR UP’s success, too.  Campbell County GEAR UP Site Coordinator Monica Bane anticipates 25 volunteers from the community for each event. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/11/2019-6AM)