Anonymous Donor Gives $100,000 to Clarke County School District, to Support the Whatever It Takes Neighborhood Leaders Program
Through the generosity of an anonymous donor at
the Athens Area Community Foundation, the Clarke County School District will receive $100,000 to collaborate with the Whatever It Takes Neighborhood Leaders Program. This will enable thousands of parents and guardians to be trained on
around 5,000 surplus laptops distributed by the school district.
“Thanks to this donor, we will be able to support our technology rollout and our family engagement
initiatives by empowering our community leaders,” said Superintendent Philip D. Lanoue. “We are proud to work with Whatever It Takes to expand the Neighborhood
Neighborhood Leaders include parents and other caregivers working with the school district and others to engage their neighbors in support of educational achievement for all students. Leaders have been identified in a pilot program in the Alps Road Elementary School attendance zone, and, with this new support, will be identified in the zones surrounding all of the district's 14 elementary schools.
“This new funding will not only ensure that Neighborhood Leaders are trained to engage their peers in each of the 14 elementary school attendance zones, but that parents in those zones have the tools necessary to help their children cross the ‘digital divide’,” explained Tim Johnson, executive director of Family Connection-Communities in Schools’
Whatever It Takes Initiative.
The anonymous donor established the Neighborhood Education Program Fund at the Athens Area Community Foundation with an initial gift of $100,000. Said Delene Porter, the Athens Area Community Foundation’s president and CEO, “AACF is a vehicle for passionate donors who wish to leave permanent legacies. By creating a fund at the community foundation, this donor has invested in the families of our community for generations to come.”
This gift kicks off up to a 10-year annual donation of the same. Half of the Neighborhood Education Program Fund will be permanently endowed to ensure the program is sustainable. The program will expand in a variety of ways, including:
At least one neighborhood leader will act as a technology specialist in each of the fourteen elementary school attendance zones.
These leaders will receive specialized training in the computers and software being provided.
Leaders will receive stipends for their training time and work.
Leaders will work with the school district staff to coordinate the logistics of laptop distribution and training. Laptops will be distributed to families whose children receive free or reduced lunches under the federal meal program.
School district and Free IT Athens staff will provide neighborhood leaders trainings to ensure parents know how to access a variety of electronic information. This includes
Parent Portal, with access to grades, attendance records, behavior, school programs and more; district and school electronic newsletters; parent discussion boards;
job training sites; health and wellness information; and much more.
“This support will allow us to achieve our goal for every household with children in the Clarke County School District to have a computer in the home, with the knowledge how to use technology to increase family engagement and student achievement,” said Superintendent Philip D. Lanoue.
With 21 schools and over 12,000 students, the Clarke
County School District offers students both diversity and a culture of academic excellence. The district was recognized as Georgia’s top school district for closing the achievement gap as a Title I Distinguished District. For more information, visit www.clarke.k12.ga.us.
Whatever It Takes works at the neighborhood level with the goal that all children in our community will be healthy, safe and successful in school, engaged in the community and on
course to graduate from a post-secondary education. It is an initiative of Family Connection-Communities In Schools of Athens, a collaboration of more than 90 community organizations working with families to achieve success for
all children and youth in our community. For more information, please visit www.wit-athens.org.
Through the Athens Area Community Foundation, philanthropists support the issues they care most about
while making a collective impact on the entire community that is bigger, more responsive and longer-lasting than what they could do alone. AACF stewards over $1.6 million in Donor Advised Funds, Agency Funds and Charitable Remainder Trusts. For more information, visit www.athensareacf.org.