GEAR UP is a federally funded program that supports academics and college access for the students of our ten partnering school districts including Alleghany, Ashe, Burke, Clay, Graham, Madison, Swain, Watagua, Wilkes, and Yancey. In an effort to encourage teachers and administrators to dream about the roles and opportunities that their schools can provide students, we offer the Academic Innovation Mini (AIM) Grant.
AIM Grants are designed to support individual and school passion projects aimed at improving academic performance through innovative classroom experiences that engage, inspire, enhance, and motivate student learning. Proposals may request funding in the $2,000-$8,000 range.
Teachers, administrators, coaches or counselors are eligible and encouraged to apply. It is required that any interested party communicate their ideas with their GEAR UP Coordinator to ensure eligibility as well as alignment between the school’s innovation goals and GEAR UP grant goals and compliance measures. It is also the responsibility of an awarded district to notify Appalachian GEAR UP if any awarded educators leave the school or district. If funds have been spent, then it is the responsibility of the school to carry out the responsibilities of the grant award.
Due to federal grant regulations, the 2022 AIM grant request for proposal is only eligible to teachers, counselors, coaches and administrators supporting grades 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th within the participating schools of our GEAR UP community. Due to the requirements of GEAR UP grant funding, currently only 9th grade teachers are the only high school positions eligible for an award. Any 9th grade applicant must teach at least 50% or more 9th grade students in their schedule and any proposal being submitted must apply directly to 9th grade students. Please contact your GEAR UP Coordinator to confirm eligibility.