Archive for May 28, 2010
Record number of APS media centers receive grants from Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries
A record 15 Atlanta Public Schools media centers received $6,000 grants from the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries on Friday — by far the most of any school district in the nation. The former first lady made the announcement in Miami. The grants are awarded to help media specialists expand, update and diversify their library book collections. APS represented 8 percent of the 188 school libraries that were selected throughout the nation (earning a total of $1,098,634 in grant money). Last year 10 of the 158 libraries selected were from APS.
According to APS Media Services Coordinator Warren Goetzel, funding for book collections has never been more important. Right now the elementary schools get $15.31 per student per year in state funding, while middle schools and high schools get $13.03 per student per year. “And that’s for all media materials, not just books,” said Goetzel, who made a strong push for his media specialists to apply for the grant this year. ”The average cost of a book is $25. Books become obsolete pretty rapidly these days, and they don’t have the money to update them.” He added that the average usable life of a non-fiction is about five years due to rapid changes in science and technology. “Consider that Pluto’s not a planet anymore,” he said. “Any time there are those changes, you have to discard the book and start over.”
Goetzel was particularly proud of his media specialists for rising to the challenge and taking advantage of this crucial funding opportunity: “External funding is critical to build and maintain balanced book collections. Our media specialists are so dedicated to their staff and students to make sure they have the most updated resources availability.”
Here is the list of the grant-winning APS media centers and their media specialists, after the jump …
Atlanta Public Schools has the most “No Excuses” schools in the state – nine out of a total of 35 schools from 19 districts – as announced today by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. APS schools that attained the “No Excuses” designation for 2010 are: Blalock, Burgess-Peterson Academy, C.W. Hill, Capitol View, East Lake, Garden Hills, Gideons, Whitefoord and KIPP West Atlanta Young Scholars Academy charter school. Capitol View received a double recognition for having two grade levels that qualified for the award. Blalock closed prior to the last school year.
UPDATE: Check out this cool AJC feature.
While we’re basking in the glow of all these memorable high school graduation ceremonies being held at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center, it’s fun to read stories like the one in today’s AJC about the group Tree Climbers International‘s debut tree-climbing event at Brown Middle School. Peter “Treeman” Jenkins founded the group a quarter-century ago, and has established the value and importance of tree climbing in the Atlanta community. He also found some willing subjects at Brown Middle.
Eighteen kids from environmental groups at Brown Middle School and Kipp Strive Academy participated in the climb, made possible through an introduction by Robby Astrove, coordinator of Trees Atlanta’s Beltline Arboretum Education Program. The tree selected for the climb, estimated to be 75 years old, was inspected and prepared for climbing by Bartlett Tree Experts.
For some students, it was their first time climbing a tree.
Brown Middle School teacher Jennifer Hall said the technical tree-climbing adventure was the culmination of the students’ environmental efforts. Through their “G-Force” program, students have learned about global warming, started recycling programs, performed cleanup around school property and participated in nature-drawing activities with the Atlanta Audubon Society.
But the rope-and-saddle tree climb was the high point of their year if you ask seventh-grader Victor-Alan Weeks.
“I thought it would be mind-blowing, and when I got up there, it was a big adrenaline rush,” said Weeks, 13. “If it was available to do, I’d like to do it as a hobby.”