GAINING EARLY AWARENESS AND READINESS FOR UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS (GEAR UP)

Finley AVID Goes to LIGO

On December 19, 2014 GEAR UP had the pleasure of visiting Tri-Cities’ very own LIGO site. LIGO stands for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory.  As the students learned during the presentation about LIGO’s history, there are only four sites in the world and we are fortunate enough to have one about 45 miles from River View High School. This visit was very educational and interesting for all Finley GEAR UP AVID students and staff. LIGO seeks to detect gravitational waves that are produced from events such as black holes or even neutron stars.

After the welcoming presentation about LIGO, the students were broken off to go and test out the hands-on  exhibits and other activities that were set up for them to explore. Some  activities consisted of picking up a box and looking through the open  crease that allowed one to see the light it produced; this activity was called Scoping the Stars. Another fun activity students were excited to test was Giant Slinky, this exhibit was very impressive. It  resembled a huge slinky for a lot of the students, hence the name. The student had to pull a lever back and forth a couple of times in order for the large spring to move and create waves.

This field trip was also a job site visit for River View students. Dakota Damerow was able to speak with a programmer while touring the control room at LIGO.

Finley GEAR UP partnered with LIGO and River View High School in order to take our GEAR UP AVID students on this exciting trip. Our students really seemed to enjoy their visit because they expressed it to us on our way home from LIGO. Thank you to Dale Ingram for planning this visit for River View AVID Students. 

AVID Parent Night Provides Information to River View High Parents

On Wednesday, December 17th Mayra Mendoza came out to River View HS to present to Finley AVID parents. AVID parents have had specific AVID specific events hosted for them and this event was no exception. A total of 10 parents RSVP'd to attend. Mayra prepared a powerpoint on the background of the AVID program, what AVID looked like at River View, and the importance of the elective in their students' high school-and later college careers. Mayra was able to bring home the importance of early planning and being aware of your students' academic transcript. A special thank you to Mayra from the GEAR UP main office for taking the time to prepare a fantastic presentation for the AVID parents seeking more information about the elective and its influences on their students' education.

RVHS GEAR UP Students Make an Autumn Visit to Eastern Washington University

On November 21st, Finley GEAR UP took 38 River View High School 10th and 12th graders on a trip to visit Eastern Washington University in Cheney, WA. Only a handful of students had been to EWU in the past so it was a new experience for most in the group.  Also in attendance were 5 GEAR UP tutors, RVHS English teacher Tyler Hogg, and Finley GEAR UP Site Manager Amandalyn Rubio.

The packed bus arrived at Eastern around 9am and soon began the first activity of the day. The students were split by grade and each group was taken on a tour of the campus.  A highlight of the tours included a stop at the Pence Union Building, which serves as the community center for EWU containing dining services, the campus bookstore, computer labs, and meeting rooms. Other highlights included the University Recreation Center, Roos Field, and the JFK Library.

Both tours ended at Senior Hall where the second activity took place, an Admissions Presentation and Student Panel Q & A. The admissions presentation gave the students great information about EWU, including the process of applying and enrolling at the school, what kind of programs are offered, and the cost of attending. During the student panel the River View students learned more about the campus from a different perspective. The panel talked to the students about making their own schedules, being in clubs, different sports offered and fun things to do on campus and in the Cheney and Spokane area. At the end of the session the RVHS students also heard from Aaron McGaughey, RVHS Alumni and current junior at EWU. It is always exciting for the students to see alumni from back home doing well in college.    

After the admissions presentation, the students headed to Tawanka Commons where they sat down for an all you can eat lunch alongside current EWU students. During this time the students were also able visit the bookstore and a group of students who were interested in engineering were taken on a tour of the Computing and Engineering Building led by Aaron McGaughey, who is currently studying in the Engineering program.

After lunch the group headed back to Senior Hall for their last activity of the day, a Financial Aid presentation from the EWU Financial Aid & Scholarships Coordinator. She talked to the students about the important parts of Financial Aid, including filling out the FAFSA application and understanding the cost of going to college.

Overall the students had a very informative day and seemed thoroughly impressed with the EWU campus, students, and staff. 11 RVHS seniors were so impressed; they intend to apply to EWU this winter! Thank you to everyone who made the trip a success!

RVHS Student Shows Strong Initiative by Asking for Help from the GEAR UP Program

Tenth grade River View High School & GEAR UP student, Jadyn Kohl, recently showed strong self-initiative by reaching out to Finley GEAR UP Site Manager Amandalyn Rubio and requesting help from a GEAR UP tutor.

Jadyn has been recently struggling in her Geometry class. Her lack of understanding in the class was severely affecting her grade and she knew she could do better. With encouragement from her mom, who told Jadyn she shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help, Jadyn turned to the GEAR UP program for support.

At the end of September Jadyn had a solid D in Geometry. She began one-on-one tutoring with Pavel Radashevskiy (GEAR UP’s newest tutor) in October, and by the beginning of November Jadyn had raised her grade to a C! Jadyn said she would definitely recommend getting help from GEAR UP to her classmates. “I wanted help from people with experience in the class, and GEAR UP makes it easier to understand.”

Finley GEAR UP is very proud of Jadyn and encourages all students to follow in her footsteps and use GEAR UP as a resource for help in all their classes. 

River View High takes PSAT

This year, River View High School and WSU GEAR UP partnered to have the entire building engaged in college preparatory activities on October 15th. Seniors were hosted in the library for college preparatory work on personal statements, scholarship or school admission applications. 9th-11th grade students were hosted in one of the various teachers’ rooms at River View taking their PSAT. GEAR UP and River View High have always partnered to bring the PSAT opportunity to 10th and 11th grade students. The test however has never been administered to students as young as 9th grade.

The decision for this came as a response to the One Vision Partnership objective number 2c: to increase cohort students’ average combined test scores on the SAT from 1347 to 1545. Students exposed to the test as much as possible before taking it their junior year will be more comfortable and know what to expect on test day. In addition, students will also get information on how they can sign up their junior year (when it comes) with GEAR UP for the Sure Score SAT prep academy. Mr. Eisenbarth and Mr. Hogg teach the math and ELA strategies for this course and students always finish the preparatory work strong and better prepared for the real SAT in June.

All of these efforts will guide students into the 1500 score range in the future when they take their SAT.

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