Port O’ Call Kitchen Creates Dining Masterpiece for AVID Students
By Kip Tabb –
Too often kids who have the potential to go beyond high school with their education fail to do so because they were not encouraged or their promise has not been not recognized. Started in San Diego, California in 1980, the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) Program has achieved remarkable success in identifying students who may have potential but have not been exposed to the requirements involved in getting into college.
Targeting middle school students and working with those students until they graduate from high school, AVID has had tremendous success nationally, and is now fully integrated into the Dare County Schools system, beginning with a pilot project in Manteo seven years ago.
Since the initial project began, all of the students participating in the AVID program graduating in Dare County schools have been accepted by colleges. “One Hundred per cent of the students in the program have been accepted and have gone on to college,” Nancy Griffin, Director of Secondary Education for Dare County Schools, says.
The 100% figure exceeds the 95% of AVID students nationwide going on to college, according to Griffin.
AVID students work hard over the course of the school year; they are often the first members of their family to take honors and advance placement (AP) courses and they are expected to maintain a high grade point average.
To reward that effort, for the past three years, Frank Gajar at Port O’ Call in Kill Devil Hills has invited every AVID student in Dare County to come to his restaurant for dinner—students eat free, parents pay $15. Serving over 100 kids, it is a very significant commitment on his part.
“I had some mentors when I was growing up who really helped me,” Frank explains. “They’re a lot of the reason I got out of where I was and got to where I am today. I feel it is important to give back . . . to let the kids know how important education is.”
The dinners were held at the end of the school on Thursday, June 7 for Manteo and First Flight schools and Monday June 11 for Cape Hatteras.
Photos courtesy Jordan Hennessy.