GEAR UP Maine Bulletin
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February, 2020


GEAR UP Maine staff

What's Happening at GEAR UP Maine
Mountain Valley Middle School Students Reveal Educational Aspirations
T-shirt design contest at middle school focuses on setting goals for college.
Twelve students at Mountain Valley Middle School on Wednesday received T-shirts printed with their designs of colleges they hope to attend.

Three students each from fifth through eighth grades had their designs chosen by classmates as part of the federally funded GEAR UP program, which helps students learn about and set goals for higher education.

Lisa Drapeau, school coordinator for GEAR UP, said the contest is one way the program keeps students active in exploring their future educational possibilities.

The program is in the sixth year of a seven-year grant that pays for career fairs, motivational speakers, discussions on creating a positive school climate and culture, and building community.

Winners were: fifth-graders Colton Gallant, David Bishop and Dakota Hamner; sixth-graders Ausli McQuinn, Chloe Brown and Dylan Theriault; seventh-graders Michael Chase, Isabella May and Owen Gaudette; and eighth-graders Brooke Chase, Elizabeth Needham and Joseph Scott.

Drapeau asked students why it was important to think about what they will do after high school now. Some said because they are close to entering high school.

Fifth-grader Dakota Hamner said he chose the University of Utah because he wants to be a video game designer and they have a program there.

Eighth-grader Elizabeth Needham said the University of Korea was her choice because her “favorite band went there.”

Seventh-grader Isabella May said she chose Boston College because she lived in Boston until 2016.

Joseph Scott, also an eighth-grader, created a Kaplan University design because his cousin attended there. Kaplan was acquired by Purdue University in Indiana in 2018 and renamed Purdue University Global.

Justeen LaPointe of Roxbury, a parent of one of the students, printed the winning T-shirt designs
Article from Sunjournal
Success & Innovation Center at Mt Blue is Thriving

If you'd like to hear Dan Ryder explain the purpose and work of the Success & Innovation Center at Mt Blue Campus, take a listen to his recent appearance on the Cult of Pedagogy podcast


The Success and Innovation Center (SIC) is a unique space at Mt. Blue High School in Farmington, Maine. Director Dan Ryder describes it as a problem-solving studio, a stigma-free space where students can go at any time during the school day to work on problems they’re having inside or outside the classroom.

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The GEAR UP Maine program is funded through a grant (reference #P3345050037;
Karmon Simms-Coates, Project Officer) from the U.S. Department of Education to
University of Maine at Farmington administered by Syntiro.

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