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Tracey Pendley

4th Grade, Burgess-Peterson Academy

Atlanta Public Schools

Tracey Nance Pendley became passionate about social justice and education during her first year at Furman University in 2002. When an afterschool program for at-risk children was to end, Tracey was inspired to take over and direct the program in its three low-income neighborhoods until graduating in 2006. Getting to know, tutor, and counsel these 100 children motivated her to pursue a career in education in the University of Chicago's Sociology and Urban Teacher Education Program where she received a Masters of Arts in Teaching. Tracey taught 3rd grade at a Chicago Turnaround School on the city's west side for three years, where she excelled as a new teacher. She returned to Atlanta in 2012, teaching 4th grade first at Toomer Elementary, then at Burgess-Peterson in 2015. She's been teaching atop tables, creating community, and rocking out ever since.


We're starting a 4-h club: Come grow with us!

The purpose of this project is to start a 4-H club at Burgess-Peterson Academy that will directly impact self-esteem and student engagement. This project’s goal is to provide positive youth development opportunities for all students in the 4th-5th grades, and also to provide scholarships that will make Project Presentation Weekends at the Rock Eagle 4-H Center and 4-H Summer Camp experiences possible for students requiring financial assistance.


The learning opportunities that 4-H offers will significantly enhance exposure and engagement for

students at Ms. Pendley’s Title I Atlanta Public School. Providing such experiences for students with a socio-economic need can contribute to fostering positive life changes and support building a stronger community. It is typical to see the same faces celebrated at awards assemblies and morning meetings because so many of the accolades at school are based on academic achievement. As a classroom teacher of eight years and an educator for fifteen, Ms. Pendley sees the students who go unrecognized and their untapped potential. Maybe they’re not great at testing, but they know how to make amazing dishes in the kitchen, or they rock out on the piano! Sponsoring a 4-H Club at Burgess-Peterson would positively impact all participants, but it would especially provide opportunities for the “unseen” scholars to shine.

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