DENVER
11/17/2011 03:05 pm ET

U.S. Department Of Education Awards Northwest Denver Schools With $4.8 Million Grant

A seven-year federal grant of $4.8 million has been awarded to eight northwest Denver schools in the hopes of encouraging and improving college preparedness.

The grant is part of the U.S. Department of Education's Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) to fund counseling and mentoring services as well as the enrollment of more students in Advanced Placement courses. The schools that will benefit from the grant are: Bryant Webster K-8 School, Centennial K-8 School, Fred N. Thomas Career Education Center, Contemporary Learning Academy, Lake Middle School, North High School, Skinner Middle School and Trevista K-8 School.

"Students must be encouraged and supported as they develop a vision of their future and life after DPS. This grant will support our schools in doing that," DPS Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools Antwan Wilson said.

Although the program's website says that the grant is specifically geared toward low-income students, nationwide data from this year's ACT tests indicate that only 25 percent of all students are meeting all four criteria for their first year of college.

"These ACT results are another sign that states need to raise their academic standards and commit to education reforms that accelerate student achievement," Secretary Arne Duncan said at the time the composite scores were released.

Colorado had 11 students this year who received a perfect score of 36 on the ACT, none of whom attended any of the northwestern Denver schools.

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