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MMS gets $5000 grant to help prepare students for college
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Many students don't start preparing for college until their senior year of high school, which may be too late.

Memorial Middle School is taking a different approach
MMS recently received a $5,000 grant from Wachovia to allow seven more teachers to attend the AVID Summer Institute Training, a program to help students begin to prepare for college.

MMS Principal Andrea McMahan said the training "allows our staff to develop as an AVID Site Team and plan for the institutionalization of the program throughout the building."

AVID is a non-profit organization designed for fourth through 12th graders. It is a college-readiness program intended to raise the amount of students enrolling in four-year colleges. AVID serves all students, but its primary focus is on the underserved students in the academic middle.

AVID will enhance the framework of trained teachers "providing the most challenging and rigorous curriculum possible, while training the students on the inquiry process," says McMahan. "In previous work with the AVID program, it increased the enrollment in higher level courses, exposed students to college-readiness, and increased overall achievement," said McMahan.

Trained AVID teachers teach accelerated elective classes while receiving support through a rigorous curriculum and ongoing, structured tutorials. The teachers help AVID students with their academic training, managing their tutorials, working with faculty and parents, and by assisting students to developing long-range academic and personal plans.

Nearly 4,000 schools participate in AVID and have taken methodologies and tactics from the elective course and implemented them school wide and district wide to make a difference in their communities and produce great programs of college success.

An AVID state fact sheet reports that more than 65,300 AVID students graduated from high school and planned to attend college, since 1990. Of the 2008 AVID graduates, 97 percent planned to attend a post secondary institution - 66 percent in four-year institutions and 31 percent in two-year institutions.