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Hempstead schools, Nassau Community College to aid low-income students

The Hempstead school district and Nassau Community College Friday announced a six-year educational “GEAR UP” grant that will expand opportunities for some 500 low-income students to enter and succeed in post-high school education, through a federal grant of nearly $500,000.

The U.S. Department of Education grant will apply to students beginning in 7th grade at Hempstead’s Alverta B. Schultz Middle School.

“It’s a new day in Hempstead, and there’s no doubt this grant will help our students be better prepared for college and help give them the tools they need to succeed and excel,” Hempstead School Board President Lamont E. Johnson said in a news release. “Hempstead is aggressively pursuing positive partnerships . . . to ensure that our students are provided with the best education possible.”

Selected middle school students will participate in academically challenging coursework and be presented, along with their parents, with financial aid options all the way through the completion of their college freshman year, said the release.

“Nassau Community College has experienced great success in its previous design and implementation of GEAR UP grants within the Westbury and Uniondale School Districts, and we are grateful for and pleased with this opportunity to broaden our efforts to approximately 500 additional deserving and promising Hempstead students,” said Nilda Garcia, Nassau Community College’s Director of GEAR UP.

“We are . confident that the interventions provided over the course of six years will result in higher graduation rates and an increase in college acceptances and scholarships,” she said.

Program students will engage in online learning classes that build literacy and math skills, while also receiving additional support through individual mentoring, counseling and tutoring, the release noted.

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