HBCU BAND PERFORMANCE: Fairfield County school program inspires kids to further education

WINNSBORO, SC (WOLO) — According to the recent state report card, only 46 percent of Fairfield County School District students are pursuing a college degree of some sort. 

Only 14 percent of students were defined as being college ready, but the district has a program that is working to change that.

AVID is a program meant to push students to be their best. It stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination.

“For instance, you take a C student who wants to be an A student,” said Alicia Graham, Fairfield Middle School AVID administrator. “We take English, math, social studies and science and push the kids to the next level with different strategies. The kids come in excited and wanting to meet their goals. 

The program also deals with college and career readiness and holds events each month.

“As someone who had a lot of fun in college, as much as I enjoyed the classes, I enjoyed the college experience as well, said Dr. J.R. Green, Fairfield County School District superintendent.

This month’s event brought marching bands from Benedict College and South Carolina State to perform for the students.

“Hopefully it gets a few more interested in possibly going to college and continuing their career on playing their instruments,” said Jamie Brunson, Fairfield Middle School principal.

Principal Brunson says Fairfield has its fair share of talented musicians. Students only have to look at the bands on display Friday as proof they can be in a college band as well.

“I just greeted several of my students in both bands that have come from Fairfield County. It’s good for them to see their big brothers or cousins marching in the band and going to college. It lights a fire in them,” Brunson said. “Hopefully, that fire will be lit enough in them that they will follow their footsteps and head on to college or the workforce.”

Whether through marching band, athletics or academics, speakers encouraged students to consider Benedict or South Carolina State as a chance to further their education.

“So Fairfield County, you have everything you have here to succeed. You can get there from South Carolina State as well. I am proof,” said Col. Alexander Conyers, interim president of South Carolina State University.

“What we say is, we want every student to have a plan when they walk off the stage. Whether that is a four-year college, the military, a two-year institution, a trade or work, we want you to have a plan,” Dr. Green said. “Sometimes that plan might entail a combination of things.”

Categories: Fairfield, Local News, Orangeburg, Richland