Local students and their families, along with dozens of community groups, gathered at the Pierson High School field last Saturday morning to take part in GEAR UP Thrive Fest activities.
Approximately 30 community organizations, local agencies, law enforcement groups and school clubs lined the perimeter of the field with their booths to teach families about wellness, career and volunteer opportunities; health and exercise; and the arts, according to a news release from the Santa Cruz County School Superintendent’s Office.
GEAR UP team members held activities that included planting, painting, a ring toss, sharing resources for post-secondary education planning, and enjoying the frozen treats known as “finitos.” Big O and DJ Lucky from the Maxima 99.1 radio station were also on site to provide musical entertainment and interview participants.
Throughout the week of Sept. 20-24, GEAR UP programs throughout the country and in Santa Cruz County hosted activities to promote college and career preparedness.The festivities culminated with the GEAR UP Thrive Fest at Pierson Field.
The local schools that took part in the week-long program included Nogales, Rio Rico, Patagonia Union, Pierson and Lourdes Catholic high schools.
GEAR UP stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. The local program is currently in its fourth year of a seven-year federal grant that was awarded to the Santa Cruz County School Superintendent’s Office through the U.S. Department of Education.
(Press release submitted by Maya Donnelly of the Santa Cruz County School Superintendent’s Office.)