Coble Students Tour School for AVID Shadow Day

Kimberly Pena

Tyler Bollinger, Staff Writer

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In order to give a glimpse inside the day of a high school student, AVID members were shadowed by Coble Middle School students on Oct. 13.

“I took my middle schooler around campus and let them meet all the assistant principals and teachers,” senior Dallas Johnson said. “It was really good for me. I could see that he was a bright kid. He already has high standards for himself.  It’s just about him being able to apply that to high school and understanding how to achieve the goals that he sets out to do.”

The AVID coordinator at Coble, Erica Roberson, creates a spreadsheet of all her students who are eligible to participate in Shadow Day and then sends it to the school for assignment.

“I work on pairing those students with juniors and seniors on our campus based on their extracurricular interests,” coordinator Kimberly Peña said. “They have all kinds of interests just like high school students including sports, choir, band and journalism. We try to pair them as best we can.”

Eighth grade students in AVID got to see how high school differs from middle school.

“(Shadow Day) lets our middle school students know that they can do more than just one or two activities,” Peña said. “When you get to high school you are able to participate in a lot more. That is one of the greatest benefits of Shadow Day is that they see students who are involved in multiple activities and clubs.”

Not all differences in high school are related to extracurricular activities or academics, Peña said.

“One of the funny benefits for the middle school students is they get to see that teachers don’t walk them to lunch,” she said. “They think it’s amazing they get to walk to lunch on their own and they don’t have to sit anywhere in particular.”

Student participation on both ends has been consistent through the years.

“Most high school students want to show an eighth grader around and kind of give them the low-down as far as high school goes,” Peña said. “The eighth graders always want to come. I believe we had about 87 students who came.”

This is the second time eighth grader Denzel Flynn visited the school.

“Some people were scared,” he said. “I was sort of chill because I have already been here before. I just wanted to come here again so I could at least try to catch up on all of the other things that have changed.”

The older AVID students prepared what they wanted their younger counterparts to take away from the experience.

“I really wanted to make it extremely fun,” Johnson said. “This is a field trip and they are getting out of school so you want to give them an experience that they will remember when they come here next year.”

Johnson thinks back to his own time before joining the AVID program and wishes he had the same Shadow Day experience.

“It is a great opportunity for AVID and Coble kids to get a chance to see what high school is,” he said. “I came in here blinded. I did not know what to do and it cost me some mistakes in my freshman year.  So, if I would have had a Shadow Day, I would have really understood this and that and be able to better myself in my first year. It is just a great opportunity and I wish more kids would be able to do it.”

Shadow Day is an example of how AVID is implemented throughout the school and the benefits it brings to all students regardless of whether or not they are part of the program, Peña said.

“The teachers here are amazing and want to see students succeed,” she said. “They use strategies that we use in AVID. Even though all students are not in the AVID class, they know that the strategies we use will help them be successful and keep college in their minds. When they graduate it’s not a question of if they’ll go to college but where they’ll be going to college.”