Madrid Middle School Celebrates National GEAR Up Week and College Day
By Michele Earle
El Monte, CA– With the ultimate goal of attending college, sixth through eighth grade students at Madrid Middle School in the Mountain View School District celebrated National GEAR UP Week, September 10 through 14, an event highlighting the positive impact that GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), has had on students, families, schools, and communities since Congress authorized the program thirteen years ago. The GEAR UP program has been part of Madrid School for many years and provides grants and partnerships to increase the
number of students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.
Culminating GEAR UP Week, the school held a College Day where the aspiring collegiate
scholars wore their favorite college t-shirts, sweatshirts and hats. The students also created a chain
with a link from each student who completed the sentence, “The opportunity to attend college would mean (fill in the blank).” Among the many conclusions to the sentence were: a good job, a higher paycheck, enhanced knowledge, financial security, more career options, and a brighter future.
According to Bonnie Tanaka, Madrid Middle School principal, there is a definite college going culture on campus and students are continuously encouraged to work hard to achieve the goal of attending college.
“Throughout the year we promote the importance of a college education and provide fun events and academic activities geared toward college awareness,” said Tanaka. “We all believe in our students and know that with hard work, determination and focus they most certainly can achieve their goal of going to college.”