AVID Program Prepares Local Students for College - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

AVID Program Prepares Local Students for College

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RICHLAND, WA-- These days school districts are getting students on the path to college as early as middle school.

The AVID program taught throughout the Richland School District stands for Achievement Via Individual Determination.

Teachers are showing students they have what it takes to graduate college and giving them the tools they need to make it there.

"Mostly in terms of rigor we're trying to make them aware of the demands of college and it's not too early to start preparing for that," said Tim Turner, Richland High School AVID teacher.

Turner's AVID class of Richland High School students are working on the skills they need to graduate from their college of choice and they're only freshman.

This is the first year the Richland School District is offering the program that provides students in the middle of academic achievement standards guidance to reach their goals.

"I think it will help me get into my colleges and into every college I ever want to go to and every academic class I want," said ShyAnne Thorne, AVID Richland High School freshman student.

The program teaches kids organizational and academic skills.

"Three fourths of teachers at Richland High come in on a day off to learn about AVID strategies to add to their instructional repertoire. That shows a bunch of teachers on fire and excited about what they're doing," said Lori McCord, Richland School District AVID Director.

The program is even offered in middle schools to encourage students to think about college early.

The Prosser School District began offering AVID classes four years ago.

"They all know they're going to go to a four year university. Many of them have their universities already picked out. Once they get into high school they get to focus on getting into that university. They have their goal. They know where they're going," said Connie Hachtel, Housel Middle School AVID Coordinator.

From binder checks to math strategies, the courses show results test scores improved by 30% and students are sticking with the program.

"Kids that would fall through the cracks, maybe not challenge themselves to move on, so this way they have that support that they need to continue their journey to go to college," said Clare Padelford, Prosser High School AVID Coordinator.

The Richland School District offers the AVID program at four schools now and plans to expand.

The program teaches students from seventh grade all they way through senior year. Teachers say they can already see a change in their students and their plans for a college education.