Madison Schools awarded $150K Mazda grant for college/career readiness program

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MADISON, Ala. – Madison students will be a little more prepared for life after high school thanks to a large grant awarded by the Mazda Foundation.

Madison City Schools was given a $150,000 grant from the Mazda Foundation for a new college and career readiness program for underserved students.

Superintendent Dr. Ed Nichols said the funding will start a program called AVID, Advancement Via Individual Determination.

AVID is a proven program in other school districts. The program can assist students with study skills, academic guidance, career ideas, help in arranging a campus tour.

Dr. Nichols said approximately 80 percent of Madison City students typically choose college upon graduation and many entering jobs skills training. “Like any school district, we have students who fall through the gaps so we want to offer this to see if we can pick up more students and help them fulfill their vision for life, whether it be college, the military or a trade,” he said. “This program helps students who normally may not accept a more rigorous course of study. It has teachers trained to teach them not only in academics, but study skills. And there may be a job coach to meet with them every day.”
The AVID program will begin in Madison City middle and high schools this fall. Students participating in the program will be scheduled with an AVID period for a coach to work with them on study skills, checking their homework and other specialized assistance.

Jeff Guyton, president of Mazda North American Operations and chairman of the Mazda Foundation (USA), said providing necessary support to underserved students “is a clear expression of the Mazda Foundation’s guiding principle – what matters most is one another. Too many people lack basic access to the tools and support needed to successfully compete in our increasing complex economy.”

“We are honored by the opportunity the Mazda Foundation has afforded us to bring AVID back to the greater Huntsville area and look forward to reaching even more students with this generous award,” said AVID’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Sandy Husk.

Dr. Nichols said Madison City Schools is grateful to the Mazda Foundation. “They are a great community partner and we feel honored they gave us this generous gift.”

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