Students at Jones Fork Elementary already 'gearing up' for college

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MOUSIE, Ky. (WYMT)- Kids start dreaming about what they want to be when they grow up at a young age, but sometimes they do not start thinking about college or career paths until it is too late.

"So many times there are students who are ill-prepared," said academic interventionist and GEAR UP instructor Misty Keens.

GEAR UP is a federal grant program that provides resources for young students to start preparing for higher education early.

"We have a cohort of seventh and eighth graders that we will follow throughout high school and we will work on financing and FAFSA, we will talk to kids about their different career options," said Keens.

Keens pulls seventh and eighth-grade students from class at Jones Fork Elementary to talk to them individually about their career goals.

"I want to get financial aid and stuff like that so I can get through college and maybe get an aviation degree, or anything like that, and GEAR UP helps me to reach those goals by pulling me out and helping me get through reading and math and science and all my subjects," said eighth-grader Mary Gibson.

Grants from the program also provide funding for new technology in the classroom.

"We just got a new Smartboard," said Gibson.

Keens is also planning field trips to colleges students are interested in.

"We talk about different colleges and what I would want to be," said seventh-grader Mason Breeding.

This week is National GEAR UP week and Jones Fork Elementary is celebrating by having a different event each day such as wearing a college t-shirt to school.

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