ATLANTA – (March 22, 2021) – redefinED atlanta, a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that every student in Atlanta has the opportunity to attend a great public school, today announced it has awarded more than $168,000 in grants to 24 recipients, including 14 schools serving students in the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) district. Grants were awarded through the Innovation Fund for Pandemic Education and Restart, which was created to help organizations address the immediate educational needs of schools and students due to the impact of COVID-19 and to reimagine and enhance public education for the future.
“When Atlanta Public Schools began the school year virtually last August, we knew that students who were already facing unimaginable circumstances would need more educational and mental health support if learning was to take place. The Innovation Fund was born from this need, as well as to inspire schools to think about how they could initiate positive and sustainable changes for the future,” said Ed Chang, executive director of redefinED atlanta. “We are thankful to our partners who helped make these grants a reality, and are happy that many of the programs awarded grants are already seeing meaningful results.”
Once Atlanta schools shuttered in March, redefinED atlanta quickly pivoted to provide assistance to APS leadership, schools and families. In May of 2020, the nonprofit granted funds to two local parent groups who administered pandemic hardship grants through the “For Us By Us” fund for APS families experiencing heightened or extended difficulties during the early months of COVID-19. In June of last year, redefinED atlanta partnered with Learn 4 Life to release “Quantifying the Impact of COVID-19 School Closures on Metro Atlanta Student Proficiency,” a report to help school leaders with possible solutions to mitigate the learning loss caused by closing of schools. With the awarding of Innovation Fund grants, redefinED atlanta has provided more than $270,000 in pandemic support to Atlanta communities during the last year.
The redefinED Innovation Fund, launched in October of 2020 and now depleted, was open to all public schools and nonprofit organizations that operate in Atlanta and served students from the Atlanta Public Schools district. Grant requests were required to meet specific criteria such as aligning with Transcend Education’s Leaps for Equitable, 21st -Century Learning which is anchored in helping young people maximize their own potential while being connected and supporting a larger community. Additional requirements also specified that the proposal must advance equity focusing on the needs of students with the greatest need, and the ability to quickly implement the proposed project.
More than 50 organizations applied for funding with a total of 24 grants being awarded. The grantees were selected on a rolling basis based on meeting the proposal criteria and their deep roots and impacts in the community. Below is a comprehensive list of the grant recipients.
Grants Supporting Schools Serving Atlanta Public Schools Students: 14 schools totaling $116,655 in funding
Beecher Hills Elementary School – $11,794 (for two grants)
Frederick Wilson Benteen Elementary School Foundation – $ 8,500
Centennial Academy – $ 5,000
Charles R. Drew Charter School – $15,000
Cleveland Avenue Elementary School – $ 5,000
Dobbs Elementary – $ 7,108
Dunbar Elementary School – $ 4,800
Ethos Classical – $ 5,000
Harper-Archer Elementary School – $10,523
Jackson Cluster (Family Innovation Network via APS) – $13,400
Jean Childs Young Middle School – $10,000
KIPP Atlanta Collegiate – $ 2,500
Agnes Jones Elementary School – $10,000
Wesley International Academy – $ 8,030
Grants Supporting Community Organizations: 10 nonprofits totaling $51,800 in funding
Atlanta Bicycle Coalition – $10,000
Dunia Collegiate, Inc. – $ 5,000
Fathers Incorporated – $ 5,000
Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta – $ 5,000
Joseph and Evelyn Lowery Institute for Justice and Human Rights – $ 5,000
LaAmistad, Inc. – $ 3,500
SKIP Georgia Inc. – $ 5,000
TheraPink for Girls, Inc. – $ 3,300
3D Girls, Inc. – $ 5,000
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About redefinED atlanta:
redefinED atlanta is a growing collective of civic leaders and philanthropists passionate about and invested in transforming Atlanta into a place where every student in every community has the opportunity to attend a high-quality public school. For more information on redefinED atlanta, please visit www.redefinEDatlanta.org.
The pandemic has taken its toll on kids across the country, including in metro Atlanta, but one elementary school is working to help kids deal with it all, by rolling out the yoga mat.
“Kids were already dealing with stress anxiety, things like cyberbullying even before the pandemic hit,” Dr. Kali Arnold with the Namaste Project told 11Alive. “Then the pandemic gave them a whole another set of anxieties.”
The leader of a nonprofit, which is working to ensure that every student in Atlanta receives a high-quality education, says hybrid education is challenging. He’s hopeful that students will return to classrooms for in-person instruction in the fall.
“The silver lining here is that the vaccine is being distributed and folks are eligible who work in education,” said Ed Chang, executive director of redefinED atlanta.
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