7/19 APS Awarded $193,440 Grant From Blank Family Foundation

Kimberly Willis Green Assistant Media Director Atlanta Public Schools  

Atlanta Public Schools Awarded $193,440 Grant by The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

Funds will enhance STEAM professional development, training, family engagement and school culture at Michael R. Hollis Innovation Academy
ATLANTA – Atlanta Public Schools (APS) was awarded a $193,440 grant from The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation to enrich programming at the Michael R. Hollis Innovation Academy (Hollis).

The grant will support the implementation of a STEAM-enriched curriculum and extracurricular activities, build teacher capacity for delivering the Expeditionary Learning model, provide equipment and technology for learning, and ensure a safe learning and community environment. Hollis is located in the heart of Atlanta’s historic Westside communities: Vine City, English Avenue, and Castlebury Hill. The school opened in 2016 as part of the district’s Turnaround Strategy, a bold reform effort aimed at transforming APS’ chronically underperforming schools.

“Support from The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation will add to the momentum we have gathered in the Westside community, and focus it on Hollis Innovation Academy, where 600 pre K – 6th grade students will be directly impacted,” said APS Superintendent Dr. Meria J. Carstarphen. “This investment allows us to increase access to high quality instruction in a healthy and safe environment committed to student achievement.”

The grant will support STEAM exposure for students, including robotics team competitions, Career Days and field trips, equipment, and makerspace labs. Teachers will receive professional development and robust training in Expeditionary Learning Education, and Hollis will focus on retaining these teachers as part of its long-term strategy. Additionally, the grant will provide a part-time marketing specialist and laptop carts.

The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation is a longtime supporter of Atlanta Public Schools and has invested nearly $11 million to benefit the district since 1995.

“Every child, regardless of their zip code, deserves access to high-quality education,” stated Frank Fernandez, Vice President of Community Development for The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. “That is why our investments in educational anchors like Hollis and STEAM learning, that directly benefit the students and residents of these Westside communities, are aimed at reducing the barriers to access that have existed for far too long.”

About Atlanta Public Schools
Atlanta Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in the state of Georgia, serving approximately 52,000 students across 88 schools. The district is organized into nine K-12 clusters with 67 traditional schools, 17 charter schools, two citywide single-gender academies and two alternative programs. For more information, visit www.atlantapublicschools.us, follow us on Facebook icon  and @apsupdate on Instagram icon  and Twitter icon    

About The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation
Formed in 1995, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation promotes innovative solutions to transform the lives of youth and their families, seeking results that move communities beyond what seems possible today. The Foundation invests in early childhood development, education, green space and the arts, and leads giving programs for each of the Blank Family of Businesses, including the Atlanta Falcons, PGA TOUR Superstore, Mountain Sky Guest Ranch and Atlanta United. Mr. Blank, chairman of the Foundation, co-founded The Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement retailer, in 1978 and retired from the company as co-chairman in 2001.Through the Foundation and his family’s personal giving, Mr. Blank has granted more than $300 million to various charitable organizations. Learn more at www.blankfoundation.org.