Harrison Co. Parents Graduate from GEAR UP Training

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Recognizing the power that parent and family involvement brings to the educational success of students, the Fairmont State GEAR UP Partnership is hosting Parent Leadership Training throughout the region.

During the six-day training, two days at a time, parents have been hearing from experts from the Center for Parent Leadership, the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, the West Virginia Department of Education, Fairmont State and a variety of community resource groups. Parents and teachers of all ages and backgrounds are coming together to discuss parental roles in the education process, effective communication and listening skills, the No Child Left Behind Act, standards-based education, accountability and assessment in West Virginia schools, making sense of reports and data, understanding WESTEST and much more.

A graduation ceremony for 30 Harrison County parents will be held during a luncheon on Friday, Nov. 19, at the Village Square Conference Center in Clarksburg.

Each graduate will develop a project for his or her school that meets a specific area of need. GEAR UP will help fund the projects.

GEAR UP is a five-year, federally funded program that aims to significantly increase the number of students who are prepared to succeed in education beyond high school. In 1999, Fairmont State received the largest of 164 partnership grants awarded throughout the United States. GEAR UP grant goals include parent outreach efforts.

"Parent leadership programs have been extremely successful in other states, and I believe they could make a significant impact in West Virginia as well," said Victoria Kesner, Parent and Partner Coordinator for the Fairmont State GEAR UP Partnership.

"Since many of our schools have reported lack of parental involvement as a top problem, we are making it a top priority by encouraging parents who want to play a role in student achievement to become partners in their child's education. Committing to this parent leadership training is a great opportunity to get involved."

For more information about Fairmont State GEAR UP Parent Training, call (304) 367-0436 or e-mail Victoria Kesner at vkesner@fairmontstate.edu.