UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 8:54am
The Region 12 Education Service Center in Waco received $21 million for a new program to help students get accepted into college.
The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs,or GEAR UP, is focusing on 4,000 6th and 7th graders in 23 school districts around Central Texas.
The program will focus on making sure these students meet their requirements to get into college, along with mentoring, advising and tutoring along the way.
"We want to provide opportunities for the students and their parents to learn about colleges, planning for graduation, have the opportunity to visit some colleges and also get information about financial aid, financial literacy and receive training in leadership," Region 12 Communication Specialist Jennifer Marshall-Higgins said.
The grant from the US Department of Education was largely given because of the low socio-economic status of more than half the families in these districts.
The following districts will be participating in GEAR UP:
Blum, Bynum, Clifton, Corsicana, Connally, Covington, Groesbeck, Hillsboro, Hubbard, Kerens, Killeen, Kopperl, Lampasas, Lometa, Marlin, Mexia, Mood, Oglesby, Rosebud-Lott, Temple, Star, Whitney and Walnut Springs