$2.6 million drives unique Boys & Girls Club, MMSD partnership
New joint program aims to double minority/low-income student college enrollment

Via the Madison School District [Press Release | AVID – TOPS Fact Sheet]:

The Boys & Girls Club (BGC) and Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) announced today a new joint initiative that intends to double the number of minority and low-income students who plan to pursue four-year college and technical college degrees upon high school graduation. The launch of the initiative is made possible through private commitments of $2.6 million to the Boys & Girls Club covering 50% of the first five years of the programs cost.
“We are so excited to partner with the Madison Metropolitan School District on this groundbreaking initiative, said Mary Burke, President of the Board of Directors for the Boys & Girls Club. “combining the school district’s AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program with the Boys & Girls Club Teens Of Promise program (TOPs) we will make a difference, not only in the lives of the students involved in the program but also in the community at large. The health of our community is closely tied to having an educated, skilled workforce. This initiative is designed to do just that.”
The AVID program is a rigorous in-school elective that students take throughout high school to their improve study skills, grades, time management, reading and writing skills to better prepare them for college. The TOPs program offers summer job internships, mentors, scholarships, field trips, career exploration and financial support for tutoring. Students commit to staying on the college track, maintaining a 2.5 GPA, taking courses that will prepare them for college and having a good attendance record.

Kevin Murphy:

Impressed with the success of the 28 East High students enrolled in the program last year, the Boys and Girls Club of Madison has committed to raising $2.6 million, half the funding needed to increase enrollment to 100 students districtwide this fall and to add 100 each year until an 800-student cap is reached.
“This will fund college preparation for students not currently getting that opportunity,” said Boys and Girls Club board President Mary Burke.
Developed in California and based partly on a similar Milwaukee program, AVID is aimed at students from low-income households who want to develop the motivation to succeed in school. It is a daily elective students take throughout high school to improve their study skills, grades and time management.

Karen Rivedal:

Madison School District leaders on Monday announced a partnership with Boys and Girls Club of Dane County aimed at doubling the number of minority and low-income students who will be ready to enter college after high school.
District officials stressed that the new offering was not a remedial program or a free ride but instead was geared to help motivated students with average grades who have the desire to attend college but lack the practical skills and knowledge to get there and be successful.
And to do that really well, it was vital to involve the community, Pam Nash, assistant superintendent for the district ‘s four high schools, said at a news conference at East High School.