Archive for January 18, 2013

Hope-Hill Students Meet Christine King Farris in Celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

photo2On January 18th, kindergarten and first grade students from Hope-Hill Elementary School met Martin Luther King, Jr.’s sister, Christine King Farris, at The Old Ebenezer Church. Christine King Farris is the eldest sibling of the late Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. A student audience from 5-6 local schools gathered as she read her book, “My Brother Martin.” She shared her experience of growing up with Martin Luther King, Jr. and a brief background story of his personal life. It was a great experience for the children to learn about a historic figure and hear his childhood stories directly from a family member.

“This experience was great for the children to see history rather than simply reading about the history,” says Media Specialist Paula Morris. “The face-to-face contact is an education opportunity for them to bring history to life.”


Christine King Farris from Paula Morris on Vimeo.

January 18, 2013 at 9:39 pm Leave a comment

Give Your Opinion: Proposed 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 APS School Calendars

After a calendar development process that included a public survey that elicited nearly 6,000 responses, an analysis of APS data and a meeting with representatives of parent and employee groups, the Atlanta Board of Education will review the superintendent’s proposed calendars for 2013-14 and 2014-15 for first reading on February 4, 2013.
Click on the links below to view documentation related to the 2013-14 and 2014-15 calendar proposal.
Proposed Calendars for 2013-14 and 2014-15
Frequently Asked Questions about the APS Proposed Calendars
2012 Calendar Survey Data Summary
Public comments will be accepted on the calendars prior to first reading from January 15, 2013 to February 1, 2013 via the options listed below.
Four forums for public comments have been scheduled. Click here for more information about these forums.
You may also submit a public comment by contacting Rebecca Kaye, Policy Office, at:
telephone: 404.802.2897
For updates and information, visit

January 18, 2013 at 10:47 am 2 comments

Ellis Island Immigration Simulation at Morningside Elementary

Fifth graders at Morningside Elementary School participated in an Ellis Island Immigration Simulation on January 9th, 2013. As 5th graders learn about the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, they begin to correlate their history lessons with their own great-grandparents’ and grandparents’ experiences. Thus, history becomes more “real” to them. A poll taken by the students found that nearly 60% of them had family members who immigrated to the United States within the last three generations.

Screen Shot 2013-01-15 at 5.16.22 PMPrior to the simulation, students read a nonfiction book, “Immigrant Kids” by Russell Freedman, and created projects on a country of their own ancestry. Each student received an immigrant identity to role-play for the simulation and were required to create a nametag and a costume to portray that character. Students also wrote a letter as their character to a fictitious relative who was living in America. The letter expressed possible questions, fears, hopes, and dreams of their characters.  During the simulation, selected students played the role of processors and received training on how to question the immigrants and complete the required paperwork. Several processors acted as appeals judges who had to make decisions regarding deportation. All immigrants who “passed” the immigration process recited a loyalty oath and were welcomed to America!  The students thoroughly enjoyed this experience and many parents joined to witness the simulation.

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Screen Shot 2013-01-15 at 5.12.53 PMThe purpose of this activity is for students to experience what it may have been like for an immigrant to leave their home country and move to America with great hopes and dreams of a new life. The experience of fear and apprehension, while being processed through Ellis Island, helps students develop empathy and connects them with the experiences of their own ancestors. Every year, we have students who discover that their own grandparents or great-grandparents came through Ellis Island, and students even bring in photos and ship’s manifestos to share with the class. The simulation is a powerful culminating activity that often evokes emotion and leaves an impression.

“I thoroughly enjoyed watching the immigration event yesterday,” says Ginger Ross, a parent at Morningside. “It brought tears to my eyes to think of my own relatives’ experience. It has forced us to talk about these things as a family.”

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Next week, Atlanta Immigration Attorney Eileen Scofield is presenting to the students about immigration and citizenship. Students will also examine “10 Immigration Myths” in an activity provided by Teaching Tolerance.

January 18, 2013 at 12:04 am Leave a comment

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