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Duval County awarded $12M to help most challenged 7th graders

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Duval County School Board approved a program Tuesday night designed to help low-income students have a better chance of going to college.

The program GEAR UP – which stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs – will be offered at 10 underperforming middle schools, including Northwestern and Matthew Gilbert, which are both considered turnaround schools that must get a grade C or better this year to remain open under the current administration.

The program is funded by a $12 million grant, enough to serve 2,800 seventh-grade students at the 10 schools serving the most under resourced and disadvantaged populations in the district. 

GEAR UP promises to significantly increase the number of students who graduate high school and are prepared to succeed in post-secondary education. 

The project will focus on five key areas:

  • Rigorous coursework 
  • Supportive services
  • Intensive mentoring 
  • College-going culture
  • Family engagement 

For more information, read details of the GEAR-UP grant.