Story and photo by Airman 1st Class Holly Cook
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
The Advancement Via Individual Determination program is available to more than 4,800 elementary, middle and high schools in 48 states and 16 countries and territories.
AVID is for children in elementary, middle and high school.
The program is a college readiness program used to get children prepared for college, said AVID tutor Vanessa Santos.
“When children come through, we really want to focus on the ‘I’ and ‘D’ in AVID,” Santos said. “Getting them to gain their individual determination will be a major part of them succeeding in college.”
Through AVID, children gain information that they might not always be exposed to.
“With most of the children that come for tutoring, if it weren’t for the program they wouldn’t be looking at colleges that fit their interests and wouldn’t be as organized as they are,” Santos said. “Seeing the kids have ‘Ah ha!’ moments when they start to understand the things that they have problems with lets me know that they are using the techniques that we are teaching them.”
Getting children to think differently is one of AVID’s main goals, said Sequinn Lee, RMS sixth-grade AVID elective teacher.
“The program really helps me stay focused on what I’m working on and teaches me how to stay organized,” said
Jenna Miller, RMS seventh-grader and daughter of Army Sgt. Sallie Miller. “Whenever I have problems with my work, there is always someone to go to for help.”
Using not only classroom learning, but also field trips is a strategy the instructors are using to progress the children’s individual determination.
“Each Friday we have ‘fun Fridays’ where we take them outside of the class room to different locations to show them different ways of learning,” Santos said. “In the past year, we have taken them to the bowling alley, high ropes course, conducted impromptu speeches and had physical Fridays. We also took them to different colleges around Germany to get information they might need about school.”
Keeping the children motivated is a major part of the program, Santos said.
“We want to show the children that hard work and determination will pay off in the end,” Lee said. “We want them to stay motivated and give them skills they can apply in middle and high school, college and life.”