By Emma Uber
AVID has been a part of Carmel High School for a decade. In recent years, it has taken root at Carmel middle schools for seventh- and eighth-graders. Carmel Clay Schools recently began offering a nine-week sampling of the program for sixth-graders.
AVID, or advancement via individual determination, focuses on developing strong study habits, contributing to the community and developing skills that prepare students for higher education and life beyond school.
“Students may be nominated by a staff member to take part in the program, or with the encouragement of a parent may decide the program would be beneficial to them in middle school,” said Catherine Gahl, Clay Middle School AVID teacher. “After applying, the student is interviewed by a team of teachers, counselors, administrators to determine if the student is motivated and a good fit for the program.”
Clay Middle School’s AVID chapter recently completed community service projects.
“Students went grocery shopping for families in need partnering with the Sam’s Wish Foundation, visited nursing home residents and delivered goodies to our fire departments,” Gahl said. “While performing community service, students have the opportunity to see, firsthand, the difference they can make by helping others. They also are able to interact with people who have vastly different backgrounds and learn patience and empathy as they develop a global perspective.”
Clay Middle School recently celebrated College Go Week, an AVID initiative.
“Trip the bulldog (from Butler University) and Charlie Cardinal (from Ball State University) visiting students at Clay were among the activities that the AVID team included for students,” Gahl said. “The week was dedicated to activities to help students learn about college and open the door to exploring a college option that might interest them.”