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March Madness hits Maywood Middle School
It was month of March Madness at Maywood Middle School starting with an assembly that encouraged students to set college-focused goals.
March Madness is an event sponosered by the Gear Up program, which provides students with the skills, encouragement, and preparation to enter and succeed in college their education.
Guest speaker at the assembly was Chico television news sport reporter Geraud Moncure, who prompted students to think beyond elementary and high school and set their sights on a college education.
Along with Moncure, Cody Lane, Gear Up coordinator at Maywood, and Patricia Esparza, Gear Up-Talent Search coordinator at Corning High School, took part in the assembly.
Throughout the month each of the school's teachers were assigned a specific college which they focused activities on, such as a door decorating contest, college information made into a pennant, and color days with students wearing their classroom's college co ors.
"We feel like Gear Up and March Madness gives the kids more buy-in to seeking a college education, instead of thinking high school is their last educational experience. It helps to start them early in looking towards a college education," Khrystie Shoemaker, Gear Up team member.
Students and teachers also had to come up with a "public service announcement" providing information about their assigned college. Each school-day during the month of March one of the public service announcements was read during the school's daily morning announcements.
March Madness bonus points were given to each participating classroom based on attendance and behavior.
The top three competing classrooms with the most points given prizes during the first week of April, such as movie and snacks worth $50 for the classroom, $5 in Cougar bucks, one front-of-the-lunch-line pass, one free dance pass.
"It is really fun and the kids really get into it," said Shoemaker.
Members of the Gear Up team at Maywood are Principal Dave Cory, Shoemaker, teachers Lynda Robinet, Steve Dillon, Phil Mishoe, and Counselor Jim Stevenson.
Gear Up is funded through a state grant which Maywood has been awarded through 2018. The Gear Up grant will follow students who were in the sixth grade at Maywood in 2011, until they graduate from Corning High School in 2018.
This is second time Maywood has been selected to receive the Gear Up grant. The first followed students during the years 2004-2011.
Gear Up provides workshops for students and parents, tutoring in math and language arts, college field trips, summer academic programs, dropout prevention activities, career awareness and preparation and academic advising.