Program that helps kids succeed expands in Ardmore City Schools

By: Kristen Shanahan Email
By: Kristen Shanahan Email

ARDMORE, OK -- A program that helps kids have success in all their classes, and motivates them to strive for higher education is expanding in Ardmore Schools.

The Advancement Via Individual Determination program - also known as AVID - started in Ardmore Middle School after community members learned about it deciding it might be a good way to help students advance. Seeing the positive effect the classes have had on the kids the school has expanded the program at every grade level in the middle and high school. Now they are even looking to place it in the elementary schools.

Seventh grade student Nakevia Davis says AVID has really helped her academically.

"My test scores have gotten better, and in 6th grade I was in a language arts resource class, and 7th grade I got out of it because of AVID," Davis said.

AVID is an elective course that fills up fast. Teachers say there is a waiting list to get in. Student Marvin Noland says this is his second year to be in AVID, and he appreciates the class.

"I like them because they help me in other classes. Like they help me learn how to take notes. They help me on tests," Noland said.

Eighth grade student Masie Brown says the three years she has spent in AVID has prepared and encouraged her to go for a higher education.

"I used to say, I don't know about college. I don't know if I can do it, but now I know that with AVID I can do it, and that I am going," Brown said.

Masie says this elective not only helps her succeed in all her classes, but the programs intent of having peers teach and help each other makes it more than just an average class.

"We like all work together. We're like a big family. You know, like some of us don't really have that at home, and so now we know that we can come to school, and we have a family to work with," Brown said.

AVID instructor Linda Johnson has taught the program since its start.
She says statistics prove AVID increases the number of students who enroll in college. but that the academic tools they learn from the course - like taking notes - will take them even further.

"They not only will be going to college. They will be finishing college," Johnson said.

Johnson says through teaching this course she's already seen how it has positively affected her students, and that seeing students succeed is the goal of any teacher.

"You do see that what you do now does impact the future. It impacts lives. It impacts people," Johnson said.

AVID leaders say without the funding from Cornerstone it would not be possible to keep this incredible program going.

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