Posts filed under ‘Elementary Schools’
State Superintendent Richard Woods read to third- and fifth-grade students at Cascade Elementary School Thursday, to celebrate National Agricultural Literacy Day.
The annual observance was launched in 1973. It is designed to promote a better understanding of how food, fiber and renewable resource products are produced; highlight the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy; illustrate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable product; and showcase various career opportunities in the agriculture, food, fiber and renewable resource industries.
Cascade is one of the many Atlanta Public Schools with a community garden that features various plants, flowers and foods.
Asiaa Karriem has the ability to see the untapped potential in children from socio-economically challenged communities. As such, her being honored by the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) recently should come as no surprise.
Karriem, a gifted teacher at Usher-Collier Elementary School, was named a Javits-Frasier Scholar by the NAGC. The Javits-Frasier Scholars Program recognizes passionate, innovative educators who work in districts that serve students from low-income and minority populations that are historically underrepresented in gifted education.
“High-achieving children in poverty and from minority groups are two-and-a-half times less likely to be identified for, and served in gifted programs in school,” said NAGC Executive Director M. Rene Islas. “Educators like Asiaa are leaders and a voice for these gifted and talented children who have unique learning needs.”
Karriem said she was honored to be selected as a Javits-Frasier Scholar, and plans to take full advantage of the professional development opportunities that come with the award.
“It helps teach teachers to look for signs of giftedness in children in poverty,” said Karriem, who earned her undergraduate degree from Georgia Southern and a master’s from Mercer University. “I love the fact that by doing what I do, I am able to change the trajectory of a child’s life. Being able to find a child’s hidden genius and cultivate it is a challenge, but it is well worth the effort.”
Even before the holiday season started, students at Deerwood Academy already had the spirit of giving.
Last month they took to the streets – or at least the driveways and walkways around the school campus – to raise awareness to the plight of the less fortunate among them in the community. For the third consecutive year, Deerwood Academy students staged their iCare Walk, an initiative designed to bring attention to a community issue of concern, and then raise money to combat the issue.
In the two previous years, the themes were breast cancer awareness and bullying. This year, students targeted poverty as the theme after being inspired by the story of Terrence and Cecilia Lester, whose “Love Beyond Walls” organization works to mobilize communities to move past the walls that divide people through creative community service projects.
Earlier this fall, Terence Lester spent two months walking 650 miles from Atlanta to Washington, D.C., to raise awareness for poverty, which inspired the students at Deerwood Academy to hold their “March Against Poverty.” Nearly all of the 744 students participated, collecting pledges from donors based on the number of steps they took. Students will host several more fundraising events throughout the remainder of the school year. All proceeds will be combined and given to “Love Beyond Walls.”
Fifth graders Ella Loyo and Layla McReynolds were two of the event’s main organizers.
“I was with my dad one day and we saw two women and both of them had two little kids and they were just walking around in the road,” Layla said. “People like that need help and we thought this was a good way to do that.”
Ella agreed. “There are too many people with children who are struggling,” she said. “They are not able to take care of themselves and so we want to be able to help them.”
Students and parents at Deerwood Academy and several other Atlanta Public Schools ate lunch together on Thursday for Family Engagement Day.
Thanksgiving Day is Thursday, but students and parents throughout the Atlanta Public School system already have eaten a Thanksgiving meal together.
Scores of schools in the district – including Deerwood Academy, F.L. Stanton Elementary, Fain Elementary and Sylvan Hills Middle – celebrated National Family Engagement Day last week, with a Thanksgiving-style lunch for students and their parents, grandparents and siblings.
Cafeteria staffs prepared turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, collard greens, green beans, macaroni and cheese, dinner rolls and sweet tea.
One school, Deerwood Academy, had to call in an extra cafeteria worker to help speed hungry students and parents through the line.
“We always have a really good turnout,” said Deerwood school counselor Aleah Brown.
The faculty and staff at Charles L. Gideons Elementary School used Halloween to help make learning to read fun, as last week nearly every student, teacher and administrator dressed up as a character from a book they just read in class.
“One of our goals is increasing our Lexile levels, and so we thought this would be a good way to motivate the students,” Gideons Principal Jesse Berger said. “We’re using all of our instructional strategies, and utilizing phonics as well as our literacy programs like Just Words and Fundations.”
Berger said he and his staff plan on building similar activities around other holidays during the school year as well.
“We’re working on helping all of our students build their fluency skills,” he said, “but we want to make it fun for them, too.”