Contact: Sandy Connolly, Director of Communications
Office of Higher Education
St. Paul, MN -- In recognition of the urgent need to help low-income and underrepresented students prepare for a postsecondary education and of the important work being done in Minnesota schools by the Office of Higher Education's Get Ready program, Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed the week of September 22-26 as Minnesota GEAR UP Week.
The State of Minnesota receives federal grants through the U. S. Department of Education's Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program (GEAR UP). In conjunction with matching state funds, Minnesota's GEAR UP program, Get Ready, works with thousands of low-income students across the state every year, helping them prepare both academically and aspirationally for continuing their education.
"The Get Ready program helps thousands of Minnesota students believe that college can be in their future," said Larry Pogemiller, Commissioner of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. "Many of these students will be the first in their family to continue their education beyond high school, and often lack the tools and the help needed to make college possible.
This week is a time to recognize the success of the Get Ready program, as well as encourage continued support from state and national leaders."
In the 2013-2014 school year, over 5,400 elementary, middle and high school students in the Twin Cities Metro area received college awareness and preparation services from OHE's Get Ready staff. In addition, Get Ready outreach staff worked with over 6,700 low-income students in school districts statewide.
Minnesota GEAR UP week will kick-off with Get Ready schools reading the Governor's Proclamation to the student body. Students in the participating schools will launch a letter-writing campaign to their state and federal elected officials, encouraging continued support for GEAR UP funding. These letters will be hand delivered by some of the students to local Congressional offices, as well as the offices of state senators and representatives.
For more information about the Get Ready program, contact Sandy Connolly at 651-259-3902, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.