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2010 cohort of grantees

claudia abboud

Spanish, East Lake Elementary School

Atlanta Public Schools

Project: A Flare of Hispanic Culture

Through ‘A Flare of Hispanic Culture’, Mrs. Abboud improved the foreign language experience for all of the students at East Lake Elementary School, from pre-kindergarten to 5th grade. By coordinating in-school field trips, Mrs. Abboud created direct connections to the content standards by exposing students to cultural events that included folkloric dance and musical groups. Students also created maracas, piñatas and other artifacts that are representative of Hispanic countries. The project provided real-life, educational connections that enriched the curriculum and increased the students’ knowledge of various Spanish-speaking countries.

Claudia Abboud

Cathy carter

3rd Grade, West Manor Elementary School

Atlanta Public Schools

Project: Outdoor Classroom

With help from community stakeholders, Ms. Carter moved teaching and learning beyond the four walls of the traditional classroom with an ‘Outdoor Classroom’ that included an edible garden, butterfly garden, pond, and study area for West Manor Elementary School students. The goal of West Manor’s ‘Outdoor Classroom’ was to establish a sustainable, student-centered learning venue that supported state standards and enhanced the science curriculum. Furthermore, by providing a natural setting for interdisciplinary, inquiry-based instruction, the ‘Outdoor Classroom’ promoted physical health, social growth and environmental stewardship.

Cathy Carter

Gregory coleman

3rd Grade Instructional Coach, Parkside Elementary School

Atlanta Public Schools

Project: The Savannah Exploration Tour

After considering the various learning styles of his students, Mr. Coleman decided to bring teaching alive with ‘The Savannah Exploration Tour’. The one-day trip turned into a “living laboratory,” where students could connect previously learned material with new concepts while simultaneously deepening their understanding of Georgia Performance Standards. Mr. Coleman’s students of two years became photojournalists and had the opportunity to photograph, explore and record their journey through the streets, squares, monuments and buildings of Savannah. Using experiential learning and discovery, the project aimed to increase knowledge in the areas of science, social studies, math and writing.

Gregory Coleman

Lyndsey Collins

Life Science, Coretta Scott King Young Women's Leadership Academy

Atlanta Public Schools

Project: Going Green Task Force

Ms. Collins created a student-led ‘Going Green Task Force’ (GGTF) at Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy. Comprised of students from the three middle school grades, the GGTF encouraged the practice of recycling and was responsible for the dissemination of educational facts about environmentally friendly initiatives. In addition, GGTF students maintained vegetable and flower gardens, created and promoted dialogue about current events such as air pollution and also published bimonthly Podcasts linked to going green.

Lyndsey Collins

deirdre denis

3rd-5th Grades Science, Whiteford Elementary School

Atlanta Public Schools

Project: Whiteford Science Scholars

In an effort to engage students in hands-on science activities while increasing their content knowledge at the same time, Ms. Denis organized a club called the ‘Whiteford Science Scholars’. During club meetings, students worked collaboratively on tasks designed to promote problem solving skills and enhance their interests, experiences and awareness of scientific processes. The team participated in the statewide Science Olympiad competition for the first time and successfully made connections between scientific concepts and their immediate world. Ms. Denis’s project helped close the achievement gap, strengthen academic performance and increase student interest in the area of science.

Deirdre Denis

Anthony Dorsey

Principal, Richard Nathaniel Fickett Elementary School

Atlanta Public Schools

Project: Autism Sensory Lab

In an effort to enhance R.N. Fickett Elementary School’s Program for Exceptional Children, Dr. Dorsey designed a 21st Century Interactive Lab. This interactive lab housed the latest technological, visual, tactile and sensory equipment for a population of students who often do not receive the same amount of resources as their mainstream peers. As a result, the lab inspired students with special needs to actively participate in their surrounding environment. The 21st Century Interactive Lab promoted experiential learning and cognitive growth, particularly among Fickett’s autistic population.

Anthony Dorsey
Rendell Jackson

Rendell jackson

Health & P.E., Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School

Atlanta Public Schools

Project: Swim Team

Mr. Jackson implemented an aquatics program, which included the first Atlanta Public Schools’ middle school swim team meet at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School. His project exposed students to the benefits of swimming beyond recreation, as they learned fundamental skills and safety techniques. The project was based on ‘GuardStart: Lifeguarding Tomorrow’, which is a program designed to prepare 11- to 14-year-olds for Red Cross Lifeguarding certification. With the rest of his project award, Mr. Jackson provided the school and students with swimsuits, swim caps, goggles and towels.

Kenya Greer

kenya greer

4th Grade, Cascade Elementary School

Atlanta Public Schools

Project: Growing and Planting Young Minds

Students at Cascade Elementary work in conjunction with Seeds of Nutrition and Georgia Organics (Farm to School) to improve their eating habits. In an effort to provide all students with the opportunity to plant and harvest, Ms. Greer enhanced the school’s gardening program through the use of indoor GrowLabs. GrowLabs not only enabled teachers to plan creative lessons, they also allowed students from each grade level to garden year-round. Specifically targeting and improving scientific knowledge, concepts and processes by providing hands-on experiences, the mobile GrowLabs also increased understanding of math, social studies and writing standards.

Cassandra Miller-Ashley

Cassandra Miller-Ashley

Principal, John Hope - Charles Walter Hill Elementary School

Atlanta Public Schools

Project: Preparing Future Professionals Today

After realizing a large number of her students had limited college exposure, Dr. Miller-Ashley sprang into action planning a college tour for her fifth-grade students. Students visited Emory University, Clayton State University, Georgia State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Morehouse College, Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University. After compiling research, interviews and pictures, students documented and shared their experiences by creating Podcasts as a culminating project. Dr. Miller-Ashley believes that college bound experiences support the need for children to see themselves as future professionals.

tiarra moore

Science, Crawford Williamson Long Middle School

Atlanta Public Schools

Project: Choosing Health and Experiencing Wellness (C.H.E.W.)

Ms. Moore’s goal was to take a bite out of childhood obesity by implementing Project C.H.E.W. Project C.H.E.W. gave students access to an aerobics program while introducing them to a 12-week garden-based nutrition program. The program had several components including nutrition education, nutrition marketing and physical fitness. By supporting student wellness through increased physical activity, gardening and convenient access to healthy foods, Ms. Moore improved academic performance and student behaviors surrounding nutrition significantly.

Tiarra Moore
Melody Morgan

melody morgan

Principal, Coretta Scott King Young Women's Leadership Academy

Atlanta Public Schools

Project: Project Pen Pal

Ms. Morgan initiated a Pen Pal program that connected students from Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy with female students from two African countries (Ethiopia and South Africa). With a focus on history, current issues, customs and cultural practices, students created multi-media presentations using the latest technology (including podcasts, videoconferences, email and Facebook) to document their interactions and discussions. The project aimed to provide students with a rich, relevant experience that increased their literacy skills and deepened their understanding of African culture.

erin quackenbush

1st Grade, William J. Scott Elementary School

Atlanta Public Schools

Project: College Bound Academic Incentive & Recognition Program

With the desire to prepare William J. Scott Elementary students for college, Mrs. Quackenbush rewarded children from all grade levels who strived for academic excellence. To honor students for their positive actions and behavior (such as high attendance, hard work and homework completion), Mrs. Quackenbush encouraged their continued success with monthly and quarterly awards. Students received college paraphernalia and incentives for their achievements. Culminating with a college fair and field trip to a local university, students were exposed to the idea and experiences of preparing for later educational opportunities.

Erin Quackenbush

sergio rodriguez

Orchestra, Henry W. Grady High School

Atlanta Public Schools

Project: Electronic Chamber Orchestra

To combat the notion that many students consider orchestra to be old-fashioned and boring, Mr. Rodriguez purchased electric instruments so that he could have a stronger appeal to his young audience. The first of its kind at Grady High School, the Electric Orchestra performed in outdoor venues and recorded their own music. By attracting students who were looking for an innovative sound that corresponded with the technological world around them, Mr. Rodriguez brought a new twist to classical music.

Sergio Rodriguez

E. Vincent Martinez

Fashion Design, Henry W. Grady High School

Atlanta Public Schools

Project: The UrbanCouture Collection

Mr. Martinez directed Henry W. Grady High School’s UrbanCouture program, which transformed high school students into Atlanta’s hottest young fashion designers. Mr. Martinez increased the quality of his students’ garments by incorporating industrial sewing machines and a sewing serger into his classroom. This equipment allowed students to construct garments made of heavier fabrics, like denim and leather. His students were honored and recognized for their creativity in annual fashion shows

E. Vincent Martinez

Nza Willingham-branton

3rd Grade, Morris Brandon Elementary School

Atlanta Public Schools

Project: Traveling Book Club

For students at Morris Brandon Elementary who are in need of additional reading comprehension strategies, Mrs. Branton started an after-school traveling book club. Mrs. Branton utilized literature circles to explore reading concepts through the use of comprehension activities, text analyses, questioning strategies and in-depth discussions. After reading award-winning literature, which supported state standards in various content areas, the traveling book club participated in field trips that highlighted each novel’s themes or events.

Nza Willingham Branton
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