Atlanta Schools Have a Busy and Productive Summer

Written by Stacey Andell for Schools K-12

Summer GRAD (Graduation Really Achieves Dreams) Programs

Students from Atlanta Schools have been very busy this summer. The GRAD projects and programs aim to insure that Atlanta school students make to graduation and then on to university. Several GRAD programs are designed to spark students’ interest in science, mathematics and arts. This summer rising sophomores, juniors and seniors from South Atlanta, Washington and the New Schools at Carver high schools took part in 2006 Project GRAD Summer Institute. The Atlanta Schools 2006 Project GRAD Summer Institute involved students attending a four week session held at several Atlanta colleges and universities, including Clark Atlanta, Emory, Georgia State, Morehouse, Oglethorpe and Atlanta Technical College. The idea was to give students a taste of college life. Students attended classes, meet school administrators, and spoke with current students. More than five hundred students were allowed to take part in this year’s project. The students and their parents attended an awards ceremony held at Martin Luther King, Jr. Chapel at Morehouse College honoring the students’ achievements. Each of participating universities presented awards to the Atlanta Schools 2006 Project GRAD Summer Institute students for the categories of most outstanding, most improved, citizenship and best all around student.

Project GRAD asks students to promise three things: “that you will seek assistance and support from counselors whenever you get stuck, add the word ‘can’t’ to the list of four-letter words you’ve been told not to say, and to continue to reach back and help other students long after you graduate from college.” Project GRAD is a school-community partnership program that aims to improve the academic performance, high school graduation and college attendance of inner-city students from low-income backgrounds. Currently Project GRAD operates in approximately one-third of Atlanta Schools and in 211 schools nationwide. Students who complete two summer institutes, maintain the required grade point average in core college prep or technical school courses and graduate on time with their class are awarded $4,000 scholarships to college or technical school.

Atlanta Schools Holds First Teach For America Summer Institute

The Teach For America Summer Institute, hosted this year by Atlanta Schools, is an intensive five week designed to aid new college graduates in pursuing a career in teaching. Teach For America Summer Institute is a national organization that seeks to enlist recent college graduates in teaching in urban or rural school districts for at least two years after graduation. The Atlanta Schools Teach For America Summer Institute will be housed at Georgia Tech. More than 530 newly graduated teachers willed be prepared to provided education to all students no matter what their economic or social background. The Atlanta Schools Teach For America Summer Institute is the most recent location to host an institute; other locations include Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia. Atlanta Schools Teach For America Summer Institute will conduct remediation programs or addressing the most pressing academic needs of the students. Teach For America has proven to have very positive impact on Atlanta Schools. Teach For America has had teachers in the Atlanta Schools since 2000 when the program was introduced by Atlanta Schools superintendent Dr. Beverly L. Hall, who had witness the results of the program while working in the Newark, New Jersey school system.

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