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

Finishing 2014

In the month of December here at Prosser High School, our students have been eagerly working to boost their grades before the break. Progress reports came out this month, which was an eye-opener for many of the kids.

As we have mentioned before, Prosser High School is fortunate enough to be an AVID school. One of our AVID students, Enrique Acevado, has a very strong propensity for science. One great thing about the AVID program is that kids get the opportunity to teach and learn from each other, and in helping out their fellow students they are able to further their knowledge. On a day in which they had an important exam, Enrique stepped up and led the biology study group. Later that week, all of the students came back and were excited to say that they did very well on the test.

This last week we held elections for our GEAR UP ambassador officers. We had a number of highly qualified candidates apply and run for office. We will be revealing the results of the election on Friday the 19th.

During this month we also were able to put on a financial-aid night here at the school. We had about 50 students and their parents show up to learn more about ways in which college can be possible financially for local families.

In the classrooms, we are working hard to keep kids focused on the final push before winter break. Almost every math teacher is giving an exam in this last week of classes, so the students have been really seeking extra help in preparation.

Finally, Prosser High School is celebrating the winter break in a number of ways this week. Every day has been a different dress-up theme and we have been showing movies and offering free eggnog in the cafeteria. Everyone is excited for the coming break, just as soon as these exams are finished! We are definitely closing 2014 to only bring in 2015. Let’s see what the New Year has in store for our students and staff. Happy Holidays.

Busy November at Prosser High

November has been a busy month here at Prosser HS. To begin with, student led conferences took place November 5th through the 7th. During these days GEAR UP was informing parents about their upcoming Families 4 College night which took place on the 13th. The topic of this meeting was to learn about the different tests students should consider taking such as the ACT, PSAT, and the SATs. What students got out of this night was being able to understand the importance of each test and making sure they plan to take one or all when it comes down to that time in their high school career.

The student ambassador meetings kicked off with a day of training on Nov. 7th. Weekly meetings on Wednesdays have helped the ambassadors to become better spokespeople and gain confidence as well. Currently the ambassadors are creating a campaign to elect a president, vice president and other positions.

On Nov. 21st we had our annual College Night at Prosser High. Over 20 colleges and universities attended and provided information to our students about what they offer and what they need to know before applying or choosing a college. Important information regarding financial aid and scholarships was made available to them as well. We also had a guest speaker Jose Rivera who is currently an elementary school principal and Prosser High School alum. He spoke to us about his struggles growing up and encouraged the students to educate themselves the best to their ability. College Night was very successful and we truly had a great outcome of students and parents who stopped by and showed their support. Thank you to our entire student volunteers especially Ruben Meza and Miguel Andrade for helping with College Night and thank you to our teachers and staff who contributed their time as well. 

October Prosser High Student Success

As the school year progresses, there are a few students who we want to recognize for their outstanding work. First off is Enrique Acevedo. Enrique is a sophomore at Prosser High School. He is very passionate about his education, and he even gave up playing a sport just so he could focus on school. He recently joined the AVID class, which can be very intimidating even for a sophomore. This AVID class has been together since 7th grade, so being the “new” kid in class can be a bit awkward at first. However, that is not the case for Mr. Acevedo. He is ready to take on the AVID class with full force! He is showing us his capabilities just a couple of months into school! How awesome is that!?

Another student who we want to recognize is Lucy Campos. Lucy is a freshman at PHS. Even though she just started at PHS, she is doing big things! Currently she is getting ready to start a new club here at PHS. The club she is starting to develop is a book club called Mustang Readers. Her passion for books is what motivated her to create this club. For a freshman to take on a task as this one, it shows the leadership and dedication she has. Lucy will be the president of this club and is looking for a secretary and vice-president. Her club meetings will be held in the GEAR UP room once a month. These kids are working hard to succeed in life, which is why we are taking this time to recognize them.

Moving along to some upcoming events that will be taking place, the first week of November we will have student led conferences. Student-led conferences will be from November 6th to the 7th. Following the student led conferences; GEAR UP will be hosting a College Night. On that night students will have the opportunity to visit any college booth that is set up and gather information about that specific college. Last but not least, there will be thanksgiving break on the 27th and 28th. Happy Halloween!

Prosser High GEAR UP launching off the school year the right way.

September has been one of the busiest months for the GEAR UP staff. We have kicked off this year in full effect and tutors have been placed in Math, AVID and Science classes. They have been doing one-on-one tutoring or small group tutoring. This year GEAR UP was also able to help out with Freshman Camp that took place Sept 19. Freshman camp is only designed for freshmen students. Students were placed into link groups with link crew leaders. At the beginning they all met in the gym and did some activities with their assigned groups. In their groups they were assigned a letter from the alphabet and using that letter, they were to come up with a team name. Once they came up with a team they had to come up with a chant and use it every time they won a competition. Once those activities were done they all headed out to the stadium for more competitive activities. Some of those activities included the chicken throw, pantyhose competition, the tee shirt launch and other activities. Once they were done with the activities students had lunch and headed back to the gym to learn some cheers from the cheerleaders. They also learned about the different clubs that are on campus and learn traditional things that have existed at PHS. For example, the body cheer, PHS fight song, and mega phone competition. Once all of these activities were done, the whole student body came into the GYM to listen to guest speaker Houston Kraft. Once Houston Kraft wrapped up his speech, the first pep assembly of the year was kicked off.

Even though we were been busy with freshman camp our GEAR UP staff was also busy getting things ready for National GEAR UP week that took place September 22-27. The Prosser Superintendent Ray Tolcacher officially proclaimed National GEAR UP week at the Prosser School District and thanked all our staff for our hard work and dedication in making a positive impact in our cohort lives. Monday was Reflection Action Plan; a few English teachers participated in this and made it a required assignment for the students. Once we received the essay plan there were four winners which were Joshua Lansing, Daisy Deleon, Araceli Sandoval and Mackenzie Smithyman. Thanks to Mr. Witcraft, Mr. O’Brien, and Mr. Gamble for taking the time and making their students participate in the GEAR UP writing plan. Also, GEAR UP awarded Mrs. Felicijan the Champion award. Mrs. Felicijan has always been there for the GEAR UP staff and was always the first one to support our program in any way. We are truly thankful for her support and dedication to the program.

On Tuesday it was Teacher college reflection day. Teachers took five minutes out of their 1st period to talk about their college experience and select one suggestion that they would like to pass along to their students. Also, during lunch we had the spinning wheel with different categories. Students were able to spin the wheel and got asked a question on that category for a treat. On Wednesday it was the College door battle. Teachers and students decorated their classroom doors with any college of their choice. Mrs. Salyers-Smith took first place with her creative design and her college was Heritage University. Second place was a tie between the speech therapy department and Mrs. Blair. We also had our spin the wheel during lunch again with Prosser Mustang Mascot joining us as well. Another thing GEAR UP did was take students and parents to Columbia Basin College to listen to Guest Speaker Consuelo Castro Kickbusch. Our students loved her and everything she talked about, making our kids be more motivated to do their best. She talked about her struggles growing up, being in school and her life after high school. Overall, parents and students enjoyed the presentation very much and suggested that she come to speak at PHS someday. Thursday was College GEAR day in which students and staff wore any college shirt of their choice. Students that were wearing any college gear were given a goody for participating and also students were able to spin the wheel during lunch as well. This was a great way for students to get to know GEAR UP staff members and learn new information based on the questions given to them. Friday and Saturday was the Harvest fest in Downtown Prosser. GEAR UP was able to be part of that and have an information booth for our community and for our students. We had spin the wheel, college/ GEARUP trivia, prizes and games. Students who were our cohort were invited to stop by and drop off a raffle entry with their name and grade. Each hour we selected one winner to win some goodies. We definitely wrapped up GEAR UP with a huge success and are pleased on how our students participated all week. Thank you PSD, Prosser High School and our GEAR UP staff for their hard work and dedication. This is how we wrapped up September and are glad October is here.

Upcoming events PSATS Oct 15, 2014, Families for Colleges October 16, 2014, Mustangs Readers meeting October 17, 2014, and Tutor training October 22, 2014.

July News at Prosser

The first week of July was the end of summer school.  Freshman students completed credit for Algebra, Geometry and History. The students participated in a raffle on the last day.

Alejandro Romero, SAS, targeted businesses for donations.  Several businesses have already donated including 24 Fitness, Prosser Family Fitness, Miranda’s Meat Market, 6th Street coffee, Cellular Plus, Show n go, El Buen Gusto, Golden Yan, KFC and Subway.  Most donations are gift certificates.  Sharing GEAR UP with the business community is exciting!

Mr Romero and Site Manager Mrs Bea Roland, attended NCCEP conference.  This was an incredible conference with networking, fantastic sessions and speakers.  At the conference, awards were given to GEAR UP partner, professional, parent and student of the year.  Mr Romero interfaced with GEAR UP staff from Chiawana, Kennewick and Southridge sites.  Mr Romero plans to network/collaborate on a more regular basis with other GEAR UP sites.  On the last day of the conference several students shared their plans and passion for GEAR UP.  These students were a pleasure to hear.  

One of the sessions attended by Mr Romero was preparing for National GU week.  At this session, we received several ideas.  One takeaway was that it did not matter when the event happens rather that it does happen.  Prior to hearing this, I believed the dates were rigid.  This was helpful to know for future reference.

In other sessions, speakers “Coach D” Andrews and Aric Bostick challenged GEAR UP staff to have high expectations this coming year.  Mr. Bostick electrified the group with his enthusiasm.  Mr Bostick encouraged the group to enjoy life and their vocation.  

Finally, Mr Romero and Mrs Roland will also attend AVID institute San Diego, late July/ early August.

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