ATLANTA - On New Year's Eve, the Washington Huskies will take on the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, which has earned a reputation as one of the most competitive bowls in the country as well as one of the most charitable. This year, the Atlanta Public School System will benefit from that generosity in an effort to improve early childhood literacy among its kindergarten through fifth grade students.
Thursday, Peach Bowl, Inc. and the College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation announced they were jointly donating $1 million to Atlanta Public Schools (APS).
“We are so thankful for this support and what it will do for our teachers and students,” Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen said in a news release.
More than a third of APS second graders read below grade level and 70 percent of APS elementary school teachers do not feel confident teaching foundational early learning literacy skills. The grant will allow APS to train more than 1,000 educators in a specialized curriculum and better equip them to teach reading to students.
“We have a passion to be involved and give back to our community, especially in education,” said Peach Bowl, Inc. president and CEO Gary Stokan. “So we went to APS and asked them what their biggest problem was. They told us our children were not reading at a sufficient level and that they desperately needed help."
Executive Director of the CFP Foundation Britton Banowsky said the training APS will be able to offer its teachers can make a measurable and meaningful difference.
“We know this significant and meaningful plan will give our teachers the right tools and is the essential first step to ensuring that our students are reading and writing on-level by the third grade,” Dr. Carstarphen said. “Our goal is to transform how literacy instruction is delivered in our schools to move the needle in a positive direction.”
Dr. Carstarphen and Mr. Stokan joined us on Good Day Atlanta Thursday morning and talked about the big donation.