From promoting the benefits of education to creating academic challenges, KRGV-TV in Welasco, Texas, is doing its part to help improve lives in the Rio Grande Valley, where many families live in poverty near the Texas-Mexico border. For the past six years, the station has actively supported "Gear Up," which encourages parents and students to consider post-secondary education. The program, which serves 21 school districts, provides mentoring opportunities and information regarding college options and financial aid. The station produces a weekly "Gear Up" feature story that airs during the 10 p.m. newscast, and station talent volunteer as mentors. Anchorwoman Letty Garza is spokesperson for the project and spends countless hours speaking to students about education. "I am certain that without the partnership we share with KRGV, communicating the Gear Up message to the entire Rio Grande Valley population would have been nearly impossible," said Tina Atkins, director of Gear Up. "This truly represents an investment in the future of the Rio Grande Valley." The commitment to education also comes through with "Masterminds," an effort in which the station produces an academic quiz for high school students. Teams face off on subjects including history, math, English, current events, art and music. The station donates production time, air time and even makes a $100 library donation to each school. KRGV was honored with a 2008 Service to America Award for its commitment to children.
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