As a partner of the Norristown Area School District, the Intergenerational Center will expand Temple's GEAR UP efforts beyond Philadelphia.
The initiative by the U.S. Department of Education, called Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs—or GEAR UP—awards seven-year grants to partnerships that provide services to middle and high schools with high rates of poverty among their students. GEAR UP grantees serve a cohort of students beginning in sixth grade and follow the cohort through high school into their first year of college. NASD's $7 million Federal GEAR UP program, the only GEAR UP partnership grant awarded in Pennsylvania in 2018, will serve 3 middle schools and 1 high school, reaching approximately 1,275 students annually. The objectives of the grant are to: (1) Increase students' academic performance and preparation for postsecondary education; (2) Increase students' graduation rate and participation in postsecondary education; and (3) Increase educational expectations of students and increase student and family knowledge of postsecondary options.
The Intergenerational Center will utilize the experience and knowledge base fostered through an ongoing collaboration with the School District of Philadelphia's GEAR UP program. Temple's College of Education is one of the partner institutions through PHENND, now in the fifth year of the grant. In 2018, Temple connected more than 75 college coaches to six high schools, serving approximately 1500 hours during the spring and fall semesters. Over the course of the grant, Temple has averaged more than 600 dedicated coach hours per semester at District middle and high schools. Building on the lessons learned in Philadelphia, Temple will provide a number of similar supports to Norristown students including academic tutoring and support, after-school programming, college visits, family engagement events, professional development and college-readiness workshops, summer enrichment camps and more, recognizing the diverse profile of Norristown's student population.
"The Intergenerational Center is committed to fostering a college-going culture by leveraging its outstanding partnerships and expertise to increase readiness and access to post-secondary education for middle and high school students in the Norristown community. We are excited about this opportunity to expand our GEAR UP services," said Dr. Patience Lehrman, executive director of the Intergenerational Center.
Mr. Christopher Dormer, Norristown Area School District Superintendent, stated, "We are fortunate to have such an outstanding partner as Temple University to work with us on our GEAR UP Project. We value everything Temple can offer as a high-quality, four-year institution of higher learning to help our students prepare for college and career. We look forward to this collaboration benefiting every child in the cohort as they grow and achieve excellence as both learners and leaders."
Other community partners include: Montgomery County Community College, George Washington Carver Center, Norristown Municipal Council, CoolSpeak, PA Department of Environmental Protection, Family Services of Montgomery County, Montgomery County OIC, Lincoln Center for Family and Youth, Junior Achievement of Southeastern PA, Montgomery County Intermediate Unit, Montgomery County-Norristown Public Library, Quaker Chemical Corporation
About the Intergenerational Center at Temple University (Temple IGC)
Founded in 1979, the award-winning Intergenerational Center, located within the College of Education of Temple University, strengthens communities by bringing generations together to address critical concerns and create opportunities for lifelong civic engagement. The Center's College and Career Access programs connect community members and students with the university's resources to increase access and readiness for college and good careers. For more details, please contact Dr. Patience Lehrman (215-204-0266 firstname.lastname@example.org) or JT Kendall (215-204-5544, email@example.com).