Posts tagged ‘elementary schools’
Happy Birthday, Dr. Theodore Seuss Geisel!
Atlanta Public Schools (APS) on Thursday celebrated Read Across America Day, which honors the birthday of one of the world’s most beloved authors of children’s books, Dr. Seuss (1904-1991).
This year marked the 20th anniversary of Read Across America Day, an initiative launched by the National Education Association as a way to focus national attention on the importance and joys of reading. Schools throughout the district joined in on the fun:
Beecher Hills Elementary
APS Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen read to a group of first graders, while students and staff wore red. The cafeteria served green eggs and ham to students and staff, and members of the Mays High School varsity baseball team (some of whom attended Beecher Hills) stopped by to read along with various dads, grandfathers, uncles, and any important male figures in the lives of students. Also, the school held a door decorating contest.
Carver High School
Students in a handful of classes met in the library to discuss Katherine Johnson and the movie “Hidden Figures,” in relation to space travel. The conversation then focused on students discussing the far-away places they may like to visit and goals they plan to achieve in honor of Dr. Seuss’ book, “Oh the Places You Will Go.”
Community leaders from various industries read to students throughout the day. The list of readers included Atlanta Fire Department personnel, Fulton County Commissioner Marvin Arrington Jr., WVEE-FM news anchor Maria Boynton, and CBS46 anchor/reporter Aiyana Cristal.
Dr. Carstarphen read to a group of kindergarten students, and students and staff dressed as their favorite Dr. Seuss character or wore their favorite or craziest hat.
Hollis Innovation Academy
Volunteer groups from Reading with the Gr8’s (a non-profit organization founded by Atlanta Hawk center and Atlanta native Dwight Howard) and the Azalea Chapter of the Links read to students. Additionally, the TAU Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. presented Hollis with a check for $3,500 to help with literacy initiatives.
DH Stanton Elementary
Principal Robin Christian dressed as the Cat in the Hat, while teachers and students dressed in Dr. Seuss attire and wore their favorite hat or a Cat in the Hat top hat, and Atlanta Braves officials and CBS46 reporter/anchor Tracye Hutchins volunteered to read to students.
Students, faculty and staff are wore their craziest, wildest, most mixed-matched sock in honor of the book “Fox in Socks.”
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.”
“Beautiful” was the term used by David Weitnauer, president of the Howard Dobbs Foundation, when describing the new school based care center at Dobbs Elementary School.
The care center, which opened this month, was made possible by a grant from the Howard Dobbs Foundation and partnerships with the Emory University Department of Pediatrics and Southside Medical Center.
“It looks very professional, just a beautiful space,” Weitnauer said during a site visit this week. “We want to expand health care options for underserved communities, and school-based health centers are a great way for us to reach families.”
Dr. Veda Johnson, M.D., Emory Associate Professor and Director of PARTNERS for Equity in Child and Adolescent Health (PARTNERS) for the Department of Pediatrics at Emory University, was equally impressed and hopes the care center will increase parental involvement in the school.
“It’s an outstanding facility, from the look of it to the professionals working here,” Dr. Johnson said. “I hope it entices more parents to come to the school and become involved. Sometimes, parents can be intimidated by teachers and principals. Schools can be an intimidating place for them. But everyone goes to the doctor. I hope this care center can help bring more parents here to the school.”