A fundraising effort at Karns High School is working to broaden access to Advanced Placement classes.
The initiative was sparked last year, when social studies teacher B.J. Arvin heard about a Karns student who had completed an AP class, but chose not to take the exam because of the cost.
When he learned of the situation, Arvin recalled later, he thought to himself “We’re not going to have this happen again.”
The result was a fundraising campaign which led to:
- A $1,500 donation from TVA Employees Credit Union;
- A $500 grant from the Junior League of Knoxville; and
- A Homecoming campaign by KHS junior Lyndsey Dodge, which netted $750.
Dodge sold items including hair ties and bracelets as part of her campaign, and has also taken several AP classes during her academic career.
While the classes are more rigorous than a standard high school course, a good score on the AP exam can lead to college credit for high school students.
- “I know how beneficial AP programs can be for college and for peoples’ future,” Dodge said. “So I figured I would help out.”
AP exams cost $96, although discounts – at a price of $62 – are available for students in financial need. But Arvin pointed out that many students take multiple AP classes in a year, and the testing costs can add up.
He said that in his AP Human Geography class, every student was able to take the test this year, and another fundraising campaign is planned for next year’s Homecoming.
- “The ultimate goal is we do this for a few years, word gets out, and then we start getting kids who maybe wouldn’t normally take an AP class because of the financial aspect of it – they start enrolling.”