Posts tagged ‘elementary schools’

APS Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Read Across America Day


Schools throughout the district celebrated the 20th anniversary of Read Across America Day on Thursday.

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 Elementarybeecher-hills-reading
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, beecher-hills-mays-baseballgrandfathers, 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.”

Continental Colony
continental-colony-es-1Community 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.

Deerwood Academydeerwood-cat-in-the-hat
Dr. Carstarphen read to a group of kindergarten students, and students and staff dressed as their favorite Dr. Seuss character or wore their deerwood-with-kidsfavorite 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 Elementarydh-stanton-principal-christian-and-dr-massey
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.


Usher-Collier Elementary
Students, faculty and staff are wore their craziest, wildest, most mixed-matched sock in honor of the book “Fox in Socks.”usher-collier-es-crazy-socks-3




March 2, 2017 at 7:32 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

Dobbs Care Center Impresses Foundation President


Dobbs Elementary Principal Charnita West, Ed.D, (left), joined Emory University pediatrician Dr. Veda Johnson (center) and Howard Dobbs Foundation President David Weitnauer during their site visit to the new school-based care center at Dobbs.

“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.”

September 30, 2016 at 5:12 pm Leave a comment

TwinSports TV Brings Strong Anti-Bullying Message to Gideons Elementary Students


Twin sisters Regina and Renita Deloatch of TwinSportsTV brought their “Stop the Bullying”School Tour to Gideons Elementary School.

Twin sisters Regina and Renita Deloatch know all too well how bullying can impact the life of a young person. Their cousin, who was bullied as a child and throughout her school-age years, eventually committed suicide when the tormenting became too much for her to bear.

That personal tragedy has inspired the Virginia natives to create a 90-minute, interactive, high-energy presentation they call their “Stop the Bullying” School Tour. It has made stops in more than 150 schools nationwide since 2012. Recently, the more than 300 students at Gideons Elementary School took in the show.

“It ties in to all of our character building initiatives like Social Emotional Learning and ‘No Place for Hate,’ which we are implementing with fidelity here at Gideons,” said counselor Dr. Clara Matthews, who invited the Deloatch twins to Gideons. “This is something our kids needed to see, messages they needed to hear.”

The show promotes positive concepts like self-love, self-worth, respect and kindness while also stressing the importance of education. It uses hip-hop beats and lyrics and features real-life dramatizations to grab and hold the attention of students.

“We know how bullying can alter the course of a life,” Renita Deloatch said. “We want to touch the kids who are being bullied, but we also want to touch the kids who are doing the bullying so they can realize what they are doing is wrong. Our message is educational, but we want it to be fun and engaging as well.”

After the performance at Gideons, the twins and their other show participants were swarmed by students, wanting autographs, pictures and advice.

“Our goal is for all the kids we meet to become better people and be nicer to each other,” Regina Deloatch said. “We want them to realize their full potential and go on to graduate from college. If our message can reach just one child, and help that child keep from being bullied or make that child stop bullying other kids, we could have saved a life. And that’s our goal. We don’t want to lecture. We want to uplift.”


September 8, 2016 at 2:33 pm Leave a comment

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