BCG Volunteers Spruce Up Perkerson Elementary School

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) closed its Atlanta shop on June 20 and sent 250 employees to Perkerson Elementary School for a day of service.

“We wanted to do something to support kids in the community and to make an impact on children’s lives. We thought supporting an elementary school would achieve that objective,” said Gene Conley, business manager director of Nexus BCG in Atlanta.

With shovels, paint brushes and strong arms, BCG staff organized books in the school media center, gave faded benches and walls a fresh coat of paint, paved walking trails, and planted a butterfly garden.

“This is such a blessing to my students,” said Perkerson Principal Tony Ford. “I’m grateful for the learning environment that BCG is contributing to. We can’t do this work without partners like BCG.”

BCG volunteers also stocked staff restrooms with feminine hygiene items and toiletries, and created emotional learning stations for students in each classroom. Equipped with bean bags and pillows, the SEL-centered stations are designed for students who just need a moment to decompress.  

The Wildcats are certainly in for a surprise when they return to school August 12 for Day One!

Week 2 Update: Power Up Summer Reading Challenge

The Atlanta Public Schools Race2Read continues as we splash into summer reading! While students across the District take their summers to the next level via Power Up summer enrichment programs, the APS Library Media Services Department encourages students, staff and community to read and log their minutes towards the #APSRace2Read goal of 13.1 million minutes.

Power Up participants are challenged to read and log at least 400 minutes between May 24 through June 24. The top ten readers will receive a special treat courtesy of the #APSRace2Read prize patrol. The top 10 overall summer readers (including those who aren’t enrolled in Power Up) will be announced in August.

Be sure to log your minutes at www.beanstack.com/race2read.

GUESS WHO’S LEADING THE SUMMER READING RACE? (MINUTES LOGGED MAY 31 – JUNE 13) 

School First Name Last Name Logged Minutes
Sarah Smith ElementaryMarisa Harper 2,520
Sutton MiddleEric Contis 900
Sarah Smith ElementaryUrvini Naidu 815
Morningside Elementary Leela Kanuru 780
Brown MiddleTashyra Lyles 500
Springdale Park Elementary Jasper Somach 465
Morris Brandon ElementaryAnna Schwarzmann 450
Booker T. Washington High Morgan Turner 354
Morningside Elementary Sienna Burton 240
Kimberly Elementary Ursuline Arnold 237
Morris Brandon Elementary Ayushi Kirtane 190
Sarah Smith ElementarySona Harper 180
Sarah Smith Elementary Eldana Yeheyes 180
Morningside ElementaryAva Bowman 130
Sarah Smith Elementary Mia Drago 127
CSKYWLA Alexandria Smith 125
Morris Brandon ElementaryZuri Fowler 120
Brown Middle Ayonna Gillam 120
Inman MiddleMelina Welch 115

Full STEAM Ahead … Power Up Program Showcases Students’ Ingenuity and Creativity

Mary Lin Elementary School buzzed with creative energy and activity, as summer campers across the Grady cluster gathered on June 14 to proudly unveil the hands-on projects they designed and created as part of the 2019 Power Up STEAM Camp Showcase.

From air-powered cars made out of straws and Life Savers candies to the use of beeswax to make reusable sandwich bags, the two-week STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) camp showcase, dubbed “Full STEAM Ahead,” served as a culminating display of student ingenuity, creativity and teamwork in the engineering process.

Students explored their creativity by participating in several hands-on activities. Third graders, for example, learned how to weave and replicate a variety of simple machines. Meanwhile, fourth graders designed a solution to combat rising sea levels by using glue, rocks, water and Popsicle sticks, and fifth graders created a robotic hand, explored the life cycle of a honeybee, and more.

“The 5 C’s of college and career readiness (critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity and citizenship) were evident in students’ learning experiences and outcomes this summer,” said Dr. Yolanda Windham, program support specialist for the Grady cluster. “From creating an air-powered car to learning how bees help humans, our student explorers were really engaged and worked collaboratively, which helped expand their learning.”

Other enrichment activities required students to create hexagon palates and pollinate a garden using the wildly popular Minecraft video game.

“Students really developed a better understanding of the engineering and design process, collaboration, tapping into their creativity, and working within certain restraints,” said Shenise White, a gifted and talented teacher at Springdale Park who worked with fifth graders at the camp. “Students learned about the bee’s life cycle and all that goes into making video games. It was a fun week.”

While exploring music, students made air-powered instruments such as panpipes made from straws. They also created a display of various sounds, which included replicating the sound of rain and hail by pouring macaroni slowly into an empty container and opening a package by using a crinkled plastic bag.

Students like Gracy Young and Aimee Ellis had a blast attending the Power Up summer program.

“I loved learning about my favorite subject, which is science,” said Gracy, a rising fifth grader at Morningside Elementary School, who enjoyed learning how bees make wax. “I had a lot of fun and I made a lot of friends.”

“I liked all the things I got to do with my class, like Minecraft and making music instruments, said Aimee, a rising fourth grader at Hope-Hill Elementary School.

Week 1 Update: Power Up Summer Reading Challenge

Learning doesn’t stop when school is out. As students across the District take their summers to the next level via Power Up summer enrichment programs, the APS Library Media Services Department encourages students, staff and community to splash into summer reading!

Help reach the #APSRace2Read goal of 13.1 million minutes by reading 20 minutes every day and logging minutes at www.beanstack.com/race2read.

Power Up participants are challenged to read and log at least 400 minutes between May 24 through June 24. The top ten readers will receive a special treat courtesy of the #APSRace2Read prize patrol.

The top 10 overall summer readers (including those who aren’t enrolled in Power Up) will be announced in August.

Guess Who’s Leading the Summer Reading Race? (Minutes logged May 31 – June 7) 

School Name Logged Minutes
Sutton Middle Eric Contis 900
Morningside ElementaryLeela Kanuru 780
Sarah Smith Intermediate Urvini Naidu 520
Brown MiddleTashyra Lyles 500
Springdale Park Elementary Jasper Somach 465
Booker T. Washington High Morgan Turner 240
Morris Brandon ElementaryAyushi Kirtane 190
Sarah Smith Intermediate Sona Harper 180
Brown Middle Ayonna Gillam 120
Kimberly Elementary Ursuline Arnold 100
Sarah Smith Intermediate Mia Drago 93
Morris Brandon Elementary Anna Schwarzmann 90
Inman MiddleMelina Welch 85
CSKYWYLAAlexandria Smith 65
Brown Middle Kalia Cook 60
Brown MiddleJaden Gilyard 60
Brown Middle MalKaya Henderson 60
Garden Hills ElementaryLorelei Campbell 55
Booker T. Washington HighAutumn Carter 53
Brown MiddleJalen Jackson 45

Convergint Technologies Provides Free Security Upgrades to Four APS Schools

Out with the old audio security system. In with a new audio-visual security system.

Upgrading the front-entrance intercom was just one of many security measures Convergint Technologies provided free of charge to Dobbs Elementary School, Forrest Hills Academy, Heritage Academy and Cleveland Avenue Elementary School on June 7.

“I’m very grateful because we’re already in a challenging community,” said Dobbs Principal Tiffany M. Ragin. “Our school is a safe haven for students and parents. This allows us to be able to provide a safer environment so that they feel comfortable when they come to school.”

Convergint Technologies, a global service company, launched its STEP Up (Secure, Train, Educate and Protect) initiative as part of its ongoing community efforts to address school security issues. June 7 marked its 18th annual nationwide day of service, where the company donated more than $1 million in employee time and more than $100,000 in security equipment as 2,400 employees performed security assessments and installed interior and exterior security systems and upgrades in 80 communities for elementary schools and charitable organizations in Atlanta, Charleston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, San Antonio, Denver, Nashville, Orlando, Richmond and Tulsa.

“It feels incredible to be a part of a company that takes giving back to the community so seriously, with me seeing firsthand how much Convergint Technologies took into planning and coordinating all of our colleagues today across multiple schools,” said Raquel DeJesus, Convergint administrative assistant and STEP Up coordinator. “We actually hope to motivate and influence other companies to take the STEP Up initiative and give back to the community in ways that they can as well.”

Some 116 Atlanta Convergint employees volunteered to install school security intercoms and cameras.

“We’re thrilled to be able to use our expertise and our talents to help make our schools and our communities a little bit better and a little bit safer,” said Michael Ioime, general manager for Convergint Atlanta. “At the end of the day, a school should be a safe haven for children, and we just want to be a part of helping to make that a reality.”

School administrators, faculty and parents are encouraged to visit (www.convergint.com/stepup) to conduct safety audits to help ensure systems are fully operational when the school year begins. The list includes immediate steps that can be done for no cost, such as checking door locks, lighting, intercoms, software and foliage that might block views from security cameras or personnel.

Drew Charter STAR Student Named 2019 Math and Science Scholar

Charles R. Drew Charter STAR student DeGreer Harris has been selected by the Council of the Great City Schools(CGCS) to receive the 2019 CGCS-Bernard Harris Math and Science Scholarship. The students chosen were from several hundred applicants in urban school districts across the nation for their academic performance, leadership qualities and community involvement.

The scholarship was created by former NASA astronaut Dr. Bernard Harris, the first African-American to walk in space, to encourage and assist promising students of diverse backgrounds who plan to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) studies after high school. 

In the fall, Harris will attend Stanford University and major in either material science engineering or chemical engineering.

The awards were given to four seniors from high schools in four of the 75 urban school districts represented by the Council. Each scholar will receive $5,000 for continued education in a STEM-related field.

“These scholarships are a wonderful way to promote academic excellence in math and science and spur more young people to enter the STEM field,” said Dr. Harris. “I am proud to support these young men and women as they create a brighter future for themselves and become the leaders and innovators of tomorrow.”

Formerly called the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Math and Science Scholarship, the name of the financial aid program changed when Harris assumed the funding through his Harris Institute

“Throughout the years these competitive scholarships have provided talented minority students in big-city school districts a way to pursue STEM studies after high school and excel in their career pursuits,” said Council Executive Director Michael Casserly. “We appreciate the generous support of The Harris Institute, which enabled this important scholarship program to continue.”

To learn more about the Council of the Great City Schools, please visit www.cgcs.org  

Join the Power Up Summer Reading Challenge

June 3 marks the first day of Power Up by Atlanta Public Schools, a portfolio of summer enrichment programs available throughout the District. As students prepare to take their summers to the next level, APS Library Media Services department wants everyone to splash into summer reading!

Students, staff and community are encouraged to help reach the #APSRace2Read goal of 13.1 million minutes by reading 20 minutes every day and logging their minutes at www.beanstack.com/race2read.

Power Up participants are challenged to read and log at least 400 minutes between May 24 through June 24. The top ten readers will receive a special treat courtesy of the #APSRace2Read prize patrol.

The top 10 overall summer readers (including those who aren’t enrolled in Power Up) will be announced in August.

Guess Who’s Leading the Summer Reading Race?

NameSchoolMinutes
Ayushi KirtaneMorris Brandon Elementary1,144
Marisa HarperSarah Smith Elementary720
Jasper SomachGarden Hills Elementary700
Logan Bustos-SuasteguiGarden Hills Elementary610
Rafael Marin-GalvezGarden Hills Elementary540
Caled Heredia PerezGarden Hills Elementary250
Armistead WhitneyGarden Hills Elementary180
Lorelei CampbellGarden Hills Elementary150
David GarnerSutton Middle School120
Kelly Valdivia-PeruleroGarden Hills Elementary100