moving dance images, 1999

June 7, 2000





Margie Yu
Public Affairs Asst.
(323) 343-3047


of Events

East Los Angeles Middle School Students
to Attend Orientation and Open House
for Inaugural Summer Program

California State University, Los Angeles, in collaboration with East Los Angeles College (ELAC) and Griffith Middle School, will be hosting an orientation and open house for the participants of the Project GEAR UP inaugural summer session at ELAC, which will begin in July. Project GEAR UP is an innovative Department of Education grant focused on preparing a greater number of students for college from low-income, under-serviced areas.

Consistent with Project GEAR UP's goal of preparing students for college beginning with middle school, the inaugural summer session will be a four-week language arts intensive providing a high quality, developmentally appropriate program for students, focusing on:
* experiences in abstract thinking
* motivation
* creative ways to connect learned information
* opportunities to work collaboratively
* the development of self-esteem through literature

Saturday, June 10, 2000, 2:30 p.m.

East Los Angeles College, Student Center. The college is located at 1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez in Monterey Park, one block west of Atlantic Blvd. Exit, Pomona Fwy. (60) on Atlantic Blvd. (north) to Avenida Cesar Chavez (south). Ample street parking is available in front of the college.

Registered parents and students will be given an orientation to the summer program to be held at East Los Angeles College. A registration workshop will follow immediately after which parents and students will be taken on a tour of the college facilities.

Free to the public. For more information, contact Robert Arellanes, director or Bakari Copeland, education coordinator, Project GEAR UP at Cal State L.A., 323-343-6080.



Mission Statement
Project GEAR UP works to develop systemic change through local schools and families by providing academic, parental, and community support in an effort to increase educational opportunities for students and families in East Los Angeles.

The focus of Project GEAR UP is to provide resources to the current 7th grade cohort at Griffith Middle School in East Los Angeles. The project will follow this cohort with resources and support until their graduation from Garfield High School (feeder school for Griffith Middle School).

Academic Support
Project GEAR UP currently provides academic assistance through the placement of tutors in the classroom during regular class time. Tutors work to assist students with problems encountered during the day's lesson as well as being available at before school and after school homework sessions. In addition, Project GEAR UP is collaborating with East Los Angeles College (ELAC) to provide a four-week language arts intensive at the college from July 5, 2000 to August 4, 2000. The session will include a two-hour intensive academic session, an academic and career advisement component an enrichment period and a recreation period. The hope is that students will continue on to utilize the resources tailored to pre-college students at ELAC during the regular school year on Saturdays.

Every student will take part in an individual advisement session with an academic advisor who will give an overview on the different systems of higher education, explain the A-G requirements and develop an individual academic plan for the student to follow. Follow up sessions will occur periodically throughout the school year.

Project GEAR UP will work to develop professional development support for teachers at the middle and high school levels and to encourage an environment of learning on all levels so that students ultimately benefit from best practices.

Parental Support
Project GEAR UP provides parental support for parents through a collaborative agreement with the Parent Institute for Quality Education. Through a six-week session, the institute provides useful instruction in parenting skills, education resources to assist with their children's educational needs and information on how to access the school administration and resources. A parent advisory council is also formed to provide input from parents on issues they would like to see addressed and as a forum for voicing concerns to school faculty and administration.

Community Support
Project GEAR UP will be working to include area businesses and community-based organizations in an effort to focus resources on needs such as job shadowing, career mentors and summer employment for students in the project. The eventual formation of a community board will be the focus on an effort to attract and raise scholarship funds on behalf of the student cohort once they reach their senior year in high school.



The Collaboration with Griffith Middle School and East Los Angeles College

Through a collaborative agreement with Project Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), California State University, Los Angeles is working to provide academic support and advisement for students and parents in an effort to increase the college going rate among families from the East Los Angeles community. As part of this effort Project GEAR UP offers and provides in class tutors for 7th grade teachers in language arts and mathematics. These tutors assist students with the daily lessons in classroom in an effort to assist with any learning difficulties as they occur. The aim is to assist students in feeling competent and successful in their classroom approach to studying.

The project offers parent workshops through the Parent Institute for Quality Education. Through these workshops 7th grade families attend a six-week seminar in parenting, accessing school resources and advocating on behalf of their child's success. Each parent receives a certificate of completion at the end of the session, at a culmination ceremony at the middle school.

Professional development of school staff is a vital component for the program and a steering committee of faculty is currently in place to provide input as to the areas of development most needed at the school. Professional development seminars are offered at neighboring universities through a state-sponsored initiative.


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