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Background

Step Up is a joint project of CASA and Upward Bound. The two Hope College organizations have been successful in promoting academic achievement in 1st through 5th graders (CASA) and 9th through 12th graders (Upward Bound). In 2010, the staff of both organizations recognized a gap in services for the students entering middle school. With the lack of services, the students were at risk of academic failure and low education and career goals. Step-Up filled the gap after the program piloted in Fall of 2010, with five students enrolled and eager to participate in its programming. With clear success, the program has continued and is now open to all fifth grade students who complete CASA.