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An AVID Pursuit for a Better Future
An AVID Pursuit for a Better Future
By: Sioux Johnson

In today’s education driving job market, people are finding it difficult to advance in a career without acquiring some form of post-secondary schooling. For this purpose, Franklin City Schools have implemented a program referred to as AVID.AVID “AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination, and is a program that Franklin is using to promote college,” said Maureen Mahoney, Reading Specialist and AVID Elective Teacher with J. P. King Middle School. AVID is a program that helps First Generation College bound students to further their education. “The group that we have now is 20 sixth graders and 20 ninth graders and they are all first generation college students and we are getting them on a career ready path,” said Mahoney. Something both Detective Corporal Karl Boone and Lieutenant Patrick Wilson of the Franklin Police Department could appreciate. “I think any program that has been identified, that helps motivate a child or individual to go to school to better themselves can only be a plus,” said Detective Boone.Boone “I think that’s a great program,” said Lieutenant Patrick Wilson, head of the Detective Bureau. “Me, myself, I’m a first generation college student in my family and I feel it is a great step, because they show that no matter where you come from you can succeed.” In an effort to present a plethora of future career options to the children, the AVID program decided to bring their sixth graders to the Franklin Police Department to learn what it takes to work in law enforcement. “We were just thinking of other jobs that were out there. We wanted to give the kids as much exposure to help them guide their academic success in school,” said Mahoney. The police department was all too happy to assist. “Today, I explained to the kids here at JP King Middle School about the duties and responsibilities of a detective,” said Detective Boone. “I also talked to the young people about the importance of completing school and getting their education.” Education quickly became the word of the day. The field trip to the police department began with a tour of the department headquarters by Sergeant Scott Halverson, ending in the training room where Detective Bone took over. Detective Boone then gave an introduction to the tools used by detectives to solve crimes, gave a demonstration of how those tools are used, and allowed the kids an opportunity to utilize these tools in a mock crime scene set up by Detective Boone and Lieutenant Wilson. “We did a mock crime scene, showed them a couple of things, and opened it up so that they could make observations,” said Detective Boone. “I played the dead man,” said Lieutenant Wilson with a chuckle. Wilson_Victim“So I was laying there and I was listening to some of the things they said. While I was listening, they were engaged in the role play and looking for clues.”  As the students studied the scene before them, the mock crime scene proved to be a big hit with both the kids and the teachers. “I think they enjoyed it, I enjoyed it,” said Mahoney. Different causes of death, including suicide, arsenic poising, and gunshot to the chest were contemplated by everyone involved. However, education, yet again, was discovered to be the key to cracking the case. “We use science in order to assist us with solving crimes,” said Detective Boone, describing how he used a cotton swab to obtain a sample of blood, or in this case, strawberry jelly, from a doorknob for DNA evidence. For every action Detective Boone used to solve the crime, the need for the students to continue their education became more and more evident. “Not everyone is built for college, but you do have certain trade schools or other things that you can do to get education,” said Lieutenant Wilson. Though it is not necessary to have a college degree to become an officer, policemen go through training and classes throughout their entire career to keep up with the ever changing crime solving techniques. Officers often make the decision to pursue higher education to aide in their advancement with their department. “Now a days we are coming to (a time) where you do need at least an associate’s degree, but I wouldn’t say that it’s necessary to get in,” said Lieutenant Wilson. “Once you get in and you feel that this is a profession that you want to stay in, you might want to look at that to do things you want so you can advance through the ranks,” said Lieutenant Wilson. It seems that no matter what career you decide to pursue in life, it is clear that the only way to grow within it, is through obtaining more knowledge. It is nothing short of admirable to meet young children who at a young age have made this realization, and are avidly preparing themselves for the road ahead. But what is truly important to recognize is that education doesn’t end after post-secondary schooling, but is a continual process that we should never expect to cease, because as Michelangelo said it best at his ripe old age of 88, “I am still learning.”