Posts filed under ‘Elementary Schools’

State Superintendent Richard Woods Visits Cascade Elementary for National Agriculture Literacy Day

State Super Woods at Cascade ES (National Ag Lit Day 2017)

State Superintendent Richard Woods selected Cascade Elementary to read to students for National Agricultural Literacy Day on March 23, 2017.

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 ES gardenCascade is one of the many Atlanta Public Schools with a community garden that features various plants, flowers and foods.


March 23, 2017 at 5:42 pm Leave a comment

Schools Throughout the District Celebrate Black History Month


Mason Muhammad Royal portrays famed scientist and inventor Dr. George Washington Carver in the Continental Colony Elementary School Black History Wax Museum.


The auditorium at Continental Colony Elementary School was transformed into an interactive, African American “wax museum” last week, as nearly 50 students posed as famous and influential African Americans in history.

The event is part of the school’s Black History Month celebration during the month of February. Continental Colony Principal Dr. Kristen Vaughn said the school always goes all out to pay homage to the great African American leaders and events of the past.

“Our school population is 98 percent African American. It is important for us to relate our history to our students,” Vaughn said. “If we don’t tell our stories, then who will? Also, we find that many of our parents learn a great deal from our programs and displays, and so it is good to know that we are educating the community as well.”


Tylar Woods portrays Atlanta’s first female mayor Shirley Franklin at the Continental Colony Elementary School Black History Wax Museum.

In the wax museum, students took on the persona of individuals such as Louis Latimer (scientist, inventor), Hosea Williams (civil rights leader), Andrew Young (former Atlanta mayor and Secretary to the United Nations), Sarah Boone (inventor of the ironing board), Mary McCloud Bethune (educator, stateswoman and civil rights leader) and Sojourner Truth (abolitionist and women’s rights advocate). Visitors pressed a “button” located on the hand of the statues/students, which caused them to move and quote interesting facts about the characters they were portraying.

The top winner/performer in the wax museum was Jade Evans for her portrayal of Sarah Boone. Other students receiving awards for their portrayals were Kayla Sanders as Mary McCloud Bethune, Serena Booker as Serena Williams, Christian Murray as Andrew Young, Kevin Rose at Hosea Williams, and Jayla Graham as Sojourner Truth.


Zaire Parris portrays brilliant scientist and inventor Louis Latimer at the Continental Colony Elementary School Black History Wax Museum.

Additionally, Continental Colony is continuing its annual tradition of decorating its entire foyer with homages to African American history.

Here are several other Black History Month celebrations occurring throughout Atlanta Public Schools (in chronological order):

Forrest Hill Academy | February 1-28
Students are filming a documentary titled “What Black History Means to Me.”

Grady High School | February 1-28
Teachers are incorporating African-American history facts throughout the curriculum, and a date for the annual Black history play is being developed.

Morningside Elementary School | February 1-28
Reading quotes or brief bios on morning announcements and on the school’s daily message board; Kindergarten does a unit of study on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and creates hallway bulletin boards in his honor; Kindergarten and first-grade students are being taught a song about Dr. King and will read “Martin’s Big Words”; Books related to African-American history and heroes are on display in the media center; Fifth graders will analyze quotes by Dr. King as an ELA assignment.

South Atlanta High School | February 1-28
Black history facts are broadcasted over the public address system during the day.

Morris Brandon Elementary School  | February 3-28
First Street: Students are invited to research an African American who was the “first” African American to achieve a specific accomplishment. The student will create a poster detailing the individual and his/her accomplishment. The posters will be on display in the school’s “First Street” exhibit.

Mary Lin Elementary School/Inman Middle School | February 11
Psi Phi Beta Step Team performs at the monthly “SPARK Saturday” at the Center for Civil and Human Rights. This month’s “SPARK Saturday” event teaches youth about African American culture through rhythm and movement, and illustrates how today’s music and dance movements are inspired by African traditions.

Whitefoord Elementary School | February 16
(Grades 3-5) Guest speaker Nettie Washington-Douglass, great, great granddaughter of Booker T. Washington and Frederick Douglass.

Young Middle School | February 20-24
“Celebrating Black History in Atlanta”: A series of performances and guest speakers throughout the week.

Bunche Middle School | February 23
“Sankofa – Go Back and Get It.” Performing arts performances featuring dance, drama and chorus.

Long Middle School | February 23
“Remember the Times”: Thematic, living timeline created by students, highlighting moments in African-American history.

Benteen Elementary School | February 24
Essay competition and family movie night.

Brown Middle School | February 24
“Sankofa”:The annual Black History Program (sankofa translates to “recovering or retrieving the past”).

Scott Elementary School | February 24
“Lift Every Voice”: The annual performing arts program for Pre-K through fifth grade.

Whitefoord Elementary School | February 24
Black History Bowl

Continental Colony Elementary School | February 28
Pantherville Poetry Café.

Hope Hill Elementary School | February 28
Annual Black History program.

West Manor Elementary School| February 28
Annual African-American history program.

Whitefoord Elementary School| February 28
Black History Performing Arts Program.









February 7, 2017 at 3:55 pm Leave a comment

Former Continental Colony Elementary Student Writes Books with SEL in Mind




Marian Davis, a former student at Continental Colony Elementary School, has created a series of books which focus on various aspects of Social Emotional Learning (SEL). Recently, Davis held a book signing event at her old elementary school.

Long before her home school district – Atlanta Public Schools – decided to adopt the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) concept as a way to improve school culture, Marian Davis knew all about its benefits.

First as a psychology major at Clemson University, and then during her work in the social services field, Davis – who attended Continental Colony Elementary, Brown Middle and Grady High Schools – became a fan of SEL, so much so that she created a series of children’s books, “Chicken and Pickle,” to reinforce SEL and its principals:  self awareness, self management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making.

The books chronicle the adventures of “Chicken,” who Davis said is around “grade-school age,” and his dog “Pickle,” and feature interactive activities to help young readers learn and comprehend the lessons.

— “Smile Anyway” is about overcoming obstacles.

— “Make a New Friend” is about sharing, empathy and respecting personal space.

— “Meet Uncle Bean from Town McMean” is about having good manners and showing gratitude.

— “Get a Baby” is about getting a new sibling.

— “Sometimes We Scream” is about dealing with anger properly.

“The activities are complementary resources that are ready made for teachers to use in the classroom,” Davis said. “The books cover every competency in SEL.”

“While working in therapeutic and supportive services for children, I saw the need to help our communities create environments that will grow our curious children into emotionally and socially balanced adults,” Davis said. “This series is meant to help us become more intuitive to our children’s varying emotional states as well as our own.”


January 11, 2017 at 4:20 pm Leave a comment

Usher-Collier Elementary Teacher Named National Scholar for Gifted Education


Asiaa Karriem, a gifted education teacher at Usher-Collier Elementary School, recently was named a 2016 Javits-Frasier Scholar by the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC).

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.”

December 19, 2016 at 6:25 pm Leave a comment

Deerwood Students Walk to Bring Awareness to Poverty


Students at Deerwood Academy marched around their campus recently to bring awareness to poverty during the school’s third annual iCare Walk initiative, which they dubbed the “March Against Poverty.”

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.”

December 8, 2016 at 5:23 pm Leave a comment

APS Parents Have “Thanksgiving Lunch” with Students for Family Engagement Day


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.


November 22, 2016 at 2:19 pm Leave a comment

Gideons Elementary Combines Reading with Halloween


Students in Yolanda Harrell’s second-grade class at Gideons Elementary School dressed up as pirates for Halloween to highlight the book “How I Became a Pirate,” which they read in class.

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.”


Gideons Elementary Principal Jesse Berger (far left), along with students, staff and administrators at the school, all dressed up for Halloween like characters from books they have read this year.

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.”


Gideons Elementary School Reading Specialist Daphne Coleman, Ed.D., dressed up like Ruby Bridges from the book “The Story of Ruby Bridges.”

November 1, 2016 at 5:26 pm Leave a comment

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