National GEAR UP Day: 15 ways to celebrate

1.Hold an event celebrating your GEAR UP program! Invite local media, elected officials, school administrators, parents, teachers, and students.

2. Host a Potluck BBQ as a thank you for dedicated GEAR UP volunteers.

3. Create a “See How Much We’ve Grown” Chart indicating the increases in federal funding for GEAR UP over the last 10 years. Turn this into an opportunity to highlight the success of your GEAR UP program.

4. Invite your local elected officials (mayor, city council) to attend a College Access Roundtable with your GEAR UP staff and students. This would be a great time for students to share how much they’ve learned in GEAR UP.

5. Host a “Champions of Education” Reception for your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative. Thank them for their hard work for GEAR UP and highlight some of your best parent volunteers.

6. Hold a “GEAR UP Day” in your state capital for college access and education. Meet with your State Legislators and tell them about how important GEAR UP has been to your community.

7. Start a letter writing campaign to your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative. Have your students thank the elected officials for supporting GEAR UP. Encourage parents and teachers to discuss the importance of GEAR UP in your community. Invite teachers and school administrators to attest to the increased graduation rates and test scores students have achieved through GEAR UP.

8. Create a never-ending “College Access Chain” featuring the names of students across your state who have
graduated from or are currently enrolled in a GEAR UP program! Take pictures of this huge chain created from paper links as it wraps around your school and send those pictures to all GEAR UP partners as a thank you for their support.

9. Host a Community Success Stories Breakfast with a local service club or chamber of commerce. Invite your
GEAR UP partners to share the success stories of GEAR UP students.

10. Celebrate GEAR UP with a day of community service! Motivate GEAR UP students to volunteer with a local
literacy group to spread the leadership skills they’ve gained through GEAR UP.

11. Hold a National GEAR UP Day Poster Contest! Have GEAR UP students design a poster for this event with a gift certificate to a bookstore as the prize.

12. Create an over-sized thank you card to send to your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative. With the National GEAR UP Day logo in the middle, have students, staff, and parents sign the card with their thanks, take a picture,
and deliver to your elected official’s District Office.

13. Have your mayor or governor proclaim September 18th, 2009 as National GEAR UP Day! Contact NCCEP for proclamation language (

14. Create a “GEAR UP Dreams Wall” — Cover the wall of a classroom with butcher paper, place a large National GEAR UP Day logo in the center with “Our GEAR UP Dreams” underneath, and have students write their academic, professional, and personal goals on the wall. Take a picture of students by their dreams and send a few to your
U.S. Senators, U.S. Representative, and State Legislators.

15. Host a coffee with school administrators, teachers, parents, and student leaders of a non-GEAR UP school
to discuss college access and the success that GEAR UP has had in your school district!

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