Judge Brock declares this week GEAR-UP Week in Bell County

Published 4:50 pm Monday, September 23, 2019

Bell County Judge-Executive Albey Brock signed a declaration Thursday that the week of Sept. 23 through 26 is GEAR-UP week throughout the county.

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs or GEAR-UP week will highlight what services the federal Gear Up grant offers in all schools county wide through activities, family nights and motivational speakers to promote success to all students.

Earlier this year, Partners for Education at Berea College received $109 million with two new Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR-UP) grants. The funds will help students in 19 Kentucky counties, including Promise Zone counties, prepare for college and receive the support they need to achieve success in postsecondary education.

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“The Bell County GEAR-UP staff is excited that our judge-executive and local media are taking interest in the Gear Up program,” Jonathan Neely, CCN-Page School Center said. “Our mission is to promote success among our students!”

In attendance were representatives from Berea’s Partner for Education program, Gear Up staff Bell County, Middlesboro, and Pineville schools.

The Kentucky Promise Zone reached its halfway mark for its 10-year commitment in January and Bell County continues to see positive improvements from the investment.

Bell, Harlan, Letcher, Perry, Leslie, Clay, Knox and part of Whitley County have gained an advantage in applying for federal funds as well as additional assistance from federal agencies that oversee housing, education, economic development, agriculture and safety.

The Kentucky Promise Zone has grown from an original 12 partners to 93, provided more than 400 grant applications with letters of support and identified $729 million in investments that have been announced for the Promise Zone during the next 5 to 7 years.

This is year six of the 10-year grant.