Gear Up Program Awaits Federal Funding
By Jenifer Jones
The South Dakota Gear Up program is on its final year of a six year federal grant. Officials are waiting for new requirements to be released so they can apply for more funding. South Dakota Gear Up grant coordinator Stacy Phelps spoke about the program's progress before the state House Education Committee. He says he feels confident that South Dakota will continue to receive federal funding, because several factors set the state's program apart.
"It's very intervention focused," Phelps says. "Two, it's based on a successful program we've been working on since 1992, we've been doing this type of programming and we've just been able to evolve it. And three, it's really focused on that Native American and rural population. Where a lot of programs, because they're looking for huge numbers, they focus a lot on urban areas. So our program is fairly unique from that standpoint."
Phelps says without funding, schools could maintain some of the programs, but it would be difficult to continue summer events. He says at one time officials were hoping to use state funding as a backup, but that's become uncertain. He says for now he's always looking for more federal grants and partnership opportunities.
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