Shadow day: an opportunity to grow and connect


AVID PROGRAM HOSTED the event, benefiting all kinds of students in the process. (Fairfax County Public Schools)

Arantza Villarroel | Writer

March 17, 2024

As a annual activity, AVID gives the opportunity to any interested eighth graders to spend a day getting familiar with the campus. Shorecliffs Middle School was the first to come on Monday, February 12, followed by BAMS on Monday, March 11. Every middle schooler is assigned to a sophomore, junior, or senior AVID student, who takes them to first and second period.

PLACE WHERE EIGHTH GRADERS MET UP to be paired up with their mentor for the day. (Arantza Villarroel)

While student mentors were busy working on their class assignments and participating in their normal lessons, the eighth graders had to fill out a form full of questions regarding AVID information. 

Afterwards, everyone met up in Ms. Dollar’s room to talk about the benefits of the program, standards, and requirements. Ms. Dollar asked current students to speak about their experience or share any piece of advice they wish they have gotten when they were upcoming freshmen. Afterwards, she showed a video of her past student giving a conference for the AVID National Conference sharing her personal experience and how Ms. Dollar worked as her guide during complicated years. An emotional and inspirational video that proves the power the AVID program holds on many students.

Shadowing day has many different benefits that the AVID program listed off in order to support incoming freshmen and current students, such as:

The day works as a way to recruit young interested students to apply for the AVID program when they get into high school. The forms that were given to them asked them to look for their mentors’ binders and notes to see if they followed AVID standards, but also to be attentive of the classes they were invited to and check off the different AVID teaching strategies: Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, and Reading (WICOR). Lastly, they were asked to write a small paragraph explaining why they wanted to be part of the class for their freshman year. 

The activity is not only focused on academics, but it also provides an opportunity for the kids to form small friendships they can rely on for when they move to high school. Much of the high school chatted with the eighth graders throughout the day and asked them about classes, sports, extracurriculars, hobbies, or fun anecdotes to share. “I really enjoyed getting to meet my mentor throughout the day,” stated BAMS eighth grader Xavier Perez. “We not only talked about class recommendations or tips for my freshman year, but I also told her funny stories from my school year, and she told me some from hers too,” he continued. He exclaimed that it felt like making a new friend. Even though they will not see each other for some more months, the experience was fun and they plan on talking again when the new school year starts. 

It is also an amazing activity to participate in for current sophomores and juniors who are interested in being a Link Crew member for the next school year. It adds to their experience and connects them with possible kids whom they may have to help later on if they get accepted into the leadership program. Many will be mentioning the experience in their interviews! Junior Madelyn Mitchell clarified that, “one of the main questions in Link Crew interviews is ‘how can I benefit the program?’ so I will definitely be mentioning what I did. I have had first-hand experience with eighth graders, and proved I take an active role in my community.” 

AVID once again has created an amazing activity that united the community of SCHS with many others. Many of these young kids, as proven by all the high schoolers who got to meet them, are scared- but are also extremely excited about what is to come. Let’s keep that emotion flowing for them! 

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