Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

July 11, 2013

Students learn value of AEF, make video

Bart Doan

AVON — Many Avon High School students passed through the halls of school never knowing from where some programs they depended heavily on were coming.

But after meeting with Pam DeWeese, executive director of the Avon Education Foundation, they had a full battery of impacting stories to make a video supporting the young foundation.

“Pam DeWeese came to our marketing class and asked if we could prepare a video for the AEF since it was fairly new,” said Maddie Willis, a recently graduated senior who helped make the video with a few broadcasting students. “I never knew what it did before this. What I really wanted to do with the video was get the word out about what it is, because it does some great things for younger generations, especially in elementary schools like buying books. We wanted to make sure the kids going through the high school in the future knew who to thank.”

Part of the video, which will be shown at future AEF Black and Gold Gala events, encompassed the Evening of Excellence, one where the top 25 AHS seniors are honored with influential teachers.

“The top 25 seniors with the highest grade point averages, and we went to Serendipity and had dinner, plus got to bring two teachers with us to say ‘thank you’ to them and had plaques for them,” said recent graduate Lauren Arnold, who was at the event.

Arnold said that she never knew going into the project how much the AEF does in relation to the heavy funding problems schools have faced across the county.

“With all of the budget cuts, (the AEF) has definitely helped out,” she expounded, “so things that weren’t that weren’t able to be funded are. It touches every school, every grade level.”

Arnold said that most never understand how important programs like freshman orientation are, and that is one that would have been cut if not for the AEF.

“That really helps freshmen get acquainted with the school and high school would have been hard without it.”

For current student Annie Scholtes, she too expanded on Arnold’s feelings, saying that the AEF and freshmen orientation are pivotal.

“Freshmen would be coming in completely lost, like lost dogs not knowing where to buy your lunch even,” she said. “High school is scary enough coming in.”

The students also said that helping to fund band and choir camps, events that students say are and will always be essential to future student success.

“They’ll teach you how to play an instrument before you get thrown into band class, and those are items that would be completely cut from the school without the AEF,” said Willis. “That helps a lot, going to camp, continuing your education over the summer. A lot of programs would be cut that are so essential for students.”

“It’s so hard for teachers to get supplies for class, and having the AEF be able to fund things that are so specific for helping kids, that’s the extra mile (they go). It leads to a better education and a more well-rounded experience for kids.”

The students also admitted they learned where the funding came from, saying it was heartwarming to know how many people that don’t even have children in school contribute to the foundation and help students along the way.

For more information about the AEF and to see the video, visit the website at avon-schools.org/aef.