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redefinED atlanta Announces Emily Castillo Leon as its New Senior Director of Schools

redefinED atlanta Announces Emily Castillo Leon as its New Senior Director of SchoolsredefinED atlanta, a nonprofit that engages communities, advocates for equity, and funds critical work to drive systemic level improvement in K-12 public education for students and families is pleased to announce that Emily Castillo Leon has joined the staff. 

“Our staff is committed to working with parents, educators, community leaders and philanthropists to ensure students have opportunity, well-being and self-determination,” said Ed Chang, executive director, redefinED atlanta. “Emily’s background as a school leader will help propel redefinED atlanta’s vision to transform Atlanta into a place where every student in every community receives a great K-12 public education.”

Emily Castillo León was the Founder and Head of School of Ethos Classical. As the Founder and Head of School, she led Ethos from concept inception to execution, with Ethos now serving over 450 scholars in southwest Atlanta.  She has a proven track record of transformative academic outcomes for scholars in district and charter schools. As the founding assistant principal of KIPP Nashville Collegiate High School, she led the humanities team to the highest scores in KIPP network history on the NWEA MAP Reading Assessment and scholars demonstrating growth in the 99th percentile on the Tennessee English I End of Course Exam.

Emily began her career in education as a high school English teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina. As Lead English II Teacher, she led her scholars, and her team to a 92% overall pass rate on the state writing assessment, positioning her school as the third-highest achieving of 21 high schools in the district. Emily has also served as Manager and then Director of Teacher Leadership Development with Teach For America where she modeled best practices with managers and teachers and led a cohort of first-year English teachers to “significantly exceed growth” on Common Core-aligned state assessments. Before founding Ethos, she was a fellow with the highly selective Building Excellent Schools Fellowship. Emily received a bachelor’s degree in English and communications from Wake Forest University.

In her new role, Emily will support the execution of redefinED atlanta’s school growth strategy. This position will play a vital role in the start-up of new schools, and school expansion and provide resources and guidance to school and district leaders and governance entities. As the senior director of schools, she will foster collaboration and accountability and stand with the community to hold the bar for quality and excellence.

About redefinED atlanta:

Every student in Atlanta needs access to a great K-12 public education. Together with parents, educators, community leaders, and philanthropists, redefinED atlanta is transforming Atlanta into a place where every student in every community has opportunity, well-being and self-determination. For more information, please visit www.redefinEDatlanta.org.

redefinED Atlanta Is Investing Up to $150,000 in Grant Funds To Support Schools’ Family and Community Engagement Efforts

redefinED atlanta, a nonprofit that engages communities, advocates for equity, and funds critical work to drive systemic level improvement in K-12 public education for students and families, announced today it is investing up to $150,000 to launch the Family and Community Engagement (FACE) grant. This fund will support schools in being able to establish, build, and strengthen their family and community engagement efforts throughout the 2022-2023 school year.

“The best school leaders and teachers understand their students’ and communities’ unique needs. They work best when given the trust, freedom, flexibility, resources and support to serve those needs,” said Ed Chang, executive director, redefinED atlanta. “ Active parent and community engagement are essential to establish levers of support for every student.”

Who is Eligible?

  • Any Atlanta-based Title 1 school is eligible to apply for funding.  
  • Eligible schools can apply for up to $15,000 in funding.

How it Works:

  • The application window will open on June 15, 2022, and remain open through July 15, 2022. 
  • This is not a rolling application. 
  • redefinED atlanta will review all applications after July 15, 2022, with interviews taking place through the first week of August, and we will notify schools of their grant status by Aug. 12, 2022.
  • redefinED atlanta will provide technical support for schools that are awarded funding. This technical support will include planning to support engagement efforts beyond the 2022-2023 school year. 

 

“Unlike our previous event-based microgrants, we are investing these funds to support engagement strategies across the entire ’22-’23 school year. We know it will take our entire community to support the needs of children in public schools,” said Adah Pittman-DeLancey, vice president of impact & external relations, redefinED atlanta.  “Ideally, the efforts launched in the coming school year will ignite our broader community to help identify when, where and how they can be in service to schools–especially with pandemic’s impact on children’s learning.”

redefinED atlanta believes parent and community engagement is one factor that will help advance our mission of every child in every community receiving a great K-12 public education.

About redefinED atlanta:

Every student in Atlanta needs access to a great K-12 public education. Together with parents, educators, community leaders, and philanthropists, redefinED atlanta is transforming Atlanta into a place where every student in every community has: opportunity, well-being and self-determination. For more information, please visit www.redefinEDatlanta.org.

redefinED atlanta Welcomes Two New Board Members

On the left: Perri D. Chandler; On the right: Patrice Johnson

redefinED atlanta, an education nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that every student in Atlanta has the opportunity to attend a great public school, is pleased to announce that Perri D. Chandler and Patrice Johnson will both serve on its board of directors. Chandler and Johnson were a part of redefinED atlanta’s Board Development Program, an opportunity designed to create a pathway for parents and caregivers, APS alumni and other community advocates to join redefinED atlanta’s Board of Directors. 

redefinEd atlanta sought individuals interested in sharing their experiences to help shape advocacy decisions and grantmaking that impacts students and schools in Atlanta Public Schools, and who are interested in stepping into a multi-year volunteer board position at the end of our six-month preparation program.

Perri strives to create communities of respect in schools and neighborhoods through educational workshops with students, teachers and staff, parents and caregivers and community members. The goal of the work is to create inclusive, diverse, and brave environments by naming our intersecting identities, exploring and taking ownership of our explicit and implicit biases, dismantling positive and negative stereotypes, and acknowledging all levels of power and privilege.

She is an Atlanta Public Schools graduate, a graduate of American University, an anti-bias facilitator with the Anti-Defamation League, an ACTivator with ACT Consulting group, a member of VOX Teen Communications’ board of directors and a pop-culture enthusiast.

“The redefinED atlanta Board Development Program was a uniquely empowering experience. As a parent in APS, with limited board experience with other organizations, it was very helpful to have a facilitator lead us through a very detailed explanation of board culture and responsibilities at each level,” said Perri. “ As a member of the cohort, I enjoyed engaging in conversations about personal investments and individual strengths in our common interest of equity in, and access to, quality education.”

Johnson is the Founding MOM and CEO of Inspired MOM. The mission of her organization is to inspire moms on their parenting journey to create the life they love and deserve. For more than 10 years, she’s helped moms press the reset button by hosting mom-only events, which include MOMS NIGHT OUT and an annual MOTHERS APPRECIATION DINNER.     

Patrice has more than 15 years of experience working with youth  in roles as a  pre-K paraprofessional, homeschool teacher and nanny. Her previous roles in education and childcare fuel her passion to be a member of the redefinED atlanta board.

Johnson is proud to be a Georgia native, born at Grady Hospital and an APS graduate. Most important, she’s a mother of two amazing girls who are students in Atlanta Public Schools. She enjoys event planning, DIY projects and her new hobby of skyline touring. 

“I’m excited to be on the right side of history with the present state of reconstruction and the future bearing quality education for all students,” said Patrice. 

Chandler and Johnson join redefinED atlanta’s board, a collective of community leaders who will help advance the organization’s mission of every student in every community attending a great public school, and understand the challenges and shared experiences faced by students from systematically underserved communities.

Lastly, redefinED atlanta is excited to share two new additions to its 2022 Membership Committee. Katrina Rucker will serve on the external relations committee and Sandi Stallings will serve on the investment committee. 

Click here to learn more about our board of directors and team!

redefinED atlanta Awards 24 Schools and Community Organizations with Funding to Address Critical Needs During Pandemic and Encourage Innovation

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

The Community Guilds for their STE(A)M Truck program – $  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.

 

 

redefinED atlanta INVESTS MORE THAN $300,000 IN FIVE COMMUNITY NONPROFITS SERVING THE NEEDS OF ATLANTA’S STUDENTS AND FAMILIES

ATLANTA – (Feb. 18, 2021)redefinED atlanta, a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that every student in Atlanta has the opportunity to attend a great public school, today announced that it is awarding $315,000 to five Atlanta-based organizations that are supporting the education needs of Black, Latinx and other under-resourced students and families in Metro Atlanta. The five organizations are: EdConnect, Fathers Incorporated, Goodie Nation, Next Generation Men & Women, and TeachX.

 “We believe that the communities most impacted by inequity in Atlanta Public Schools know what they need most to address their challenges and create lasting change,” said Ed Chang, executive director of redefinED atlanta. “The five organizations we’ve granted are engaged in neighborhoods across the city and metro Atlanta and currently doing the critical work of filling in education gaps in schools and communities, so we know that this funding will only deepen their impact.”

Since 2017, redefinED atlanta has contributed more than $3.3 million in support of community organizations that prioritize working with students and families in Atlanta’s under-resourced areas. redefinED atlanta’s investments reflect the organization’s values of community, equity, diversity, integrity, excellence and sustainability. This year’s community impact grants recipients uphold these values while also providing innovative solutions to widespread problems influencing the success of Atlanta’s most vulnerable students.

EdConnect, a non-profit that informs African American families living in low-income and working-class communities of their K-12 educational options across Metro Atlanta, was awarded funding to continue its coalition building work. EdConnect engages families in advocacy to enhance and expand high-quality education options that empower youth and successfully prepare them for college completion. 

Fathers Incorporated (FI), a national non-profit organization focused on improving father engagement in the lives of their children, was provided funds to sustain its Drive to Five/Real Dads Read program and the Atlanta Fatherhood Network (AFN), to further engage fathers in their work. Through the Drive to Five/Real Dads Read program, the organization has connected with thousands of fathers and distributed over 5,000 books to low-income families through 80+ literacy centers throughout Metro Atlanta. FI stays connected to its dads through AFN by offering parent education, life skills and financial education classes. 

Goodie Nation’s mission is to train all people to use innovation in an effort to build and launch scalable social impact tech startups, open source tools, and digital marketing campaigns that reduce basic need disparities in education, financial access, health, and safety. The grant from redefinED atlanta will support the organization’s Goodie Impact, Goodie Impact College, and Goodie Impact K-12 programs. 

Next Generation Men & Women (Next Gen), an organization that closes the opportunity gap for high school students by creating a path to graduation and success after high school through exposure to college, career options and support, is receiving funds to continue its work with under-resourced (Title I) high schools. Next Gen creates student cohorts, led by teachers and mentored by college undergraduates, to connect student interests to the world, visit local colleges and companies, and execute a plan for success after high-school — college and career.

TeachX provides K-12 teachers in underserved schools vital training and technology to prepare students with 21st century skills for the future workforce. The organization has been awarded a grant to develop video content for its Innovation Hub’s green room, called Discovery Labs, and to host one-to-one virtual, and as needed, in-person, learning sessions for educators.

 

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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.

 Media Contact:

Sonia Fuller 

Sonia@SoniaFullerCommunications.com

404-660-1261

 

redefinED atlanta Welcomes New Vice President of Impact and External Relations 

 ATLANTA – (February 26, 2020)redefinED atlanta, a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that every student in Atlanta has the opportunity to attend a high-quality public school, today announced that Adah Pittman-Delancey has joined the organization as Vice President of Impact and External Relations.

“Adah’s passion for supporting and strengthening communities that are marginalized as well as working with our city’s youth complements redefinED atlanta’s mission to increase the quality of Atlanta’s public schools so that every student is afforded an excellent education that will help them to be successful during school and later in life,” said Ed Chang, executive director of redefinED atlanta.

Earlier in her career, Pittman-Delancey served as the Director of Marketing for Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and as a Marketing and Community Engagement Consultant with the award-winning Actor’s Express theatre. Most recently, Pittman-Delancey worked with the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition where she helped to generate advocacy and public education campaigns in support of city infrastructure and alternative transportation options.

Privately and professionally, Pittman-Delancey has always been a strong advocate for children and families, and especially LGBTQ youth. She led and rallied coalition communication efforts to advance policy to open more homes for youth in foster care through the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, and to extend support for military-connected youth and their families living in civilian communities through the Better Together Military Public-Private Partnership.

Pittman-Delancey currently serves on several nonprofit boards including the National Prism Advisory Board for Teach for America and as well as the Vice-Chair of the Prism Advisory Board for Metro Atlanta Teach for America. She was named an Emerging Black LGBTQ leader by the White House Office of Public Engagement and the National Black Justice Coalition during the Obama Administration and earned the 2017 Environmental Leader’s Project of the Year Award on behalf of Boys & Girls Clubs of America in partnership with Samsung.

Pittman-Delancey graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology and Psychology and a Master of Sciences degree in Integrated Marketing and Management
Communications.

 

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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.

 

Media Contact:

Sonia Fuller

Sonia@SoniaFullerCommunications.com

404-660-1261