Three educators share Atlanta Families Award with school communities
A Community Math Night to help parents overcome “math fears.” A special book mobile to halt “summer slide” for young readers. And a special space—Makerspace—to inspire out-of-the-box thinking and creativity.
That’s how three Gwinnett educators are “sharing” a recent award with their school communities. The three are among 10 metro Atlanta winners of the 2015 Atlanta Families’ Awards for Excellence in Education (AFAEE) honored for improving student achievement and student self-esteem and for collaborating with community stakeholders. The winning teachers received a prize of $7,500-- $3,500 for an innovative classroom project, $1,500 for professional development, and a personal stipend of $2,500.
Kara Cowdrick, a 5th grade teacher at Chesney Elementary School and the school’s 2013-14 Teacher of the Year, has been an educator for five years. She will launch the Chesney Champion Book Mobile next summer to help prevent “summer slide” in literacy. Each week during summer break, the book mobile will visit three local apartment complexes in Duluth and students will be invited to browse and check out up to two books. Students who visit the book mobile at least four times will earn a book of their own to keep.
Jennifer Dunn of Partee Elementary School, a former Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year, has been an educator for 12 years and an assistant principal for two years. She plans to create a Makerspace at her school, increasing opportunities for innovation and critical thinking. Ms. Dunn says it will invite curiosity, inspire wonder, encourage out-of-the-box thinking, and harness innovation. The students will have tools in the space to guide them through project-based learning.
Cindy Apley-Rose, an 8th grade math teacher at Couch Middle School and GCPS’ 2014-15 Middle School Teacher of the Year, is a veteran educator who has earned numerous honors. She plans to create Community Mathematic Nights that focus on helping parents overcome a fear of math so that they are better equipped to help their children. During the monthly events, students will guide parents through a variety of hands-on and web-based tasks that will preview the objectives the students will learn the following month.
AFAEE worked with administrators to surprise the winners at their schools on Aug. 26. A formal celebration is planned for Nov. 5 at The Carter Center.
Click the video to watch the GCPS In5ive broadcast of the award celebrations.