Posts tagged ‘elementary schools’
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.”
On a recent visit to L.P. Miles Elementary School, Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen complained about an earache. But the physician on duty at the school’s new school health center diagnosed and treated the problem and in no time she was feeling much better.
Thanks to the generosity of Emory University, Healing Community Centers and Southside Medical Center, ailing students and adults in the Miles and Dobbs Elementary School communities – some with earaches like Dr. Carstarphen – will not have to travel far for health services.
An “oasis” in the middle of a desert. That’s the sentiment now that two school-based community health centers are open for business in southeast Atlanta (Dobbs) and southwest Atlanta (Miles). Ribbon cutting ceremonies were held Wednesday for the state-of-the-art facilities, located on the campuses of both schools. The centers provide a “health care oasis” in these communities. Each will offer physical health,dental health and emotional/behavioral health services with a licensed physician, dentist and behavioral specialist on staff throughout the day. The health care centers will be in operation Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
“This will help improve our attendance because now our students can get the health services they need right here,” said Miles Principal Thalise Perry. “We can nip those illnesses in the bud. The wrap around services this health center will provide are what our school and this community needs.”
Dobbs Principal Dr. Charnita West agreed. “Now our students and the members of this community have a place to go where they can get quality health services, and our school staff members can use the health centers as well,” West said. “This will help our student attendance and our staff attendance as well. This community needed a facility like this and I am so grateful that our school was chosen to house it.”