Congressman Tim Ryan Announces $1.18 Million for Akron Public Schools | Congressman Tim Ryan
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Congressman Tim Ryan Announces $1.18 Million for Akron Public Schools

October 1, 2021
Press Release

Akron, OH – Congressman Tim Ryan is today announcing $1,182,948 in federal funds for the first year of the Akron Public Schools’ GEAR UP Partnership Program, which is designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. These seven-year grants will assist Akron Public Schools in providing services to high-poverty middle and high schools. The program will serve students beginning no later than the seventh grade and follow them through high school. GEAR UP funds may also be used to provide college scholarships to low-income students. 

“As we work to build a new economy in Northeast Ohio, we need to ensure that all of our students get the education they deserve. The GEAR UP Program will provide Akron Public Schools the resources they need,” said Congressman Tim Ryan. “Education is about making sure all students are healthy, ready to compete, and up to the challenges that face them in the future. The GEAR UP Program will provide our students with the tools they need to succeed. I congratulate the Akron Public Schools for the vision and commitment needed to ensure the best education possible.”

"This grant certainly will enhance our ongoing work on behalf of our students by giving us useful, comparative data as they progress from middle through high school,” said Christine Fowler Mack, Superintendent of Akron Public Schools. “Our thanks to Project GRAD and the many partners who contributed to this gift to our students."

“Project GRAD Akron is pleased to be the lead partner in the GEAR UP grant submitted by the Akron Public Schools to the US Department of Education,” said Jackie Silas-Butler, Executive Director of Project GRAD Akron. “We are so excited that our "Aim High Akron" grant was approved for federal funding. A team of individuals worked tirelessly to bring this grant proposal to fruition. This was a herculean and community effort supported by so many school officials, parents, colleges and universities, elected officials, community leaders, and other stakeholders, partners, and supporters. We look forward to the amazing work that we plan to do with students currently in the 6th & 7th grades. This grant will allow us to follow these students for seven years to their eventual high school graduations from one of the targeted schools and as they matriculate to post-secondary success. It is an incredible opportunity for our students, families, our community, and of course, Akron Public Schools.” 

Grant funding will assist the Akron Public Schools in providing financial aid information for postsecondary education; encouraging enrollment in rigorous and challenging coursework to reduce the need for remediation at the postsecondary level; implementing activities to improve the number of participating students who obtain a secondary school diploma and who complete applications for and enroll in a program of postsecondary education; and providing scholarships to students. The goal of the Akron Public Schools’ GEAR UP Program is to serve 1,500 students at Buchtel Community Learning Center, East Community Learning Center, Innes Community Learning Center, Jennings Community Learning Center, Kenmore-Garfield High School, and North High School.

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