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Georgia Foundation for Public Education awards $90,000 in Innovative Education Fund grants

The Georgia Foundation for Public Education today awarded six grants through the Innovative Education Fund – the grant program funded by the PEACH Education Tax Credit, which allows donors to support public schools and receive a dollar-for-dollar state tax credit.

Two schools and two school districts will receive Innovating Education Prototype Grants, which provide between $5,001 and $20,000 over one year to pilot or scale an innovative education program that has the potential to impact student outcomes and transform teaching and learning practices at the school or district.

One school district and one school will receive Innovation Mini Grants, which provide between $1,000 and $5,000 for a yearlong grant designed to implement a small-scale innovative education program that has the potential to impact student outcomes.

“I offer my sincere congratulations to the six schools and districts awarded today, along with the partnering organizations," GFPE Executive Director Paige Pushkin said. “These six grants will fund creative, innovative, and much-needed programs that will have a meaningful impact on learning for students. I also wish to thank donors to Georgia's public-school tax credit for making these grants a reality. I look forward to seeing each of the programs move forward."

To support future innovation in public schools, Georgians can click here to learn more about the PEACH Education Tax Credit.

2022 Innovative Education Fund Grant Recipients – Innovating Education Prototype Grants

7 Pillars Career Academy (Clayton County Public Schools) in partnership with Hand, Heart & Soul Project – $20,000

7 Pillars Career Academy will partner with Hand, Heart & Soul Project (HHSP) to implement a food- and wellness-based curriculum. Ninety percent of 7 Pillars Middle School students live below the poverty line and there is limited access to healthy foods. HHSP is a grassroots nonprofit that addresses food insecurity in schools in food desert settings by teaching students about nutritious foods, incorporating a horticulture and agriculture pathway, and integrating healthy habits.

Calhoun City Schools – $20,000

The Calhoun College & Career Academy at Calhoun High School will partner with the Calhoun Early Learning Academy to provide hands-on learning experiences to high school students in the Teaching as a Profession pathway. Specifically, the early learning center will create a training classroom for high schoolers to master the pathway standards while gaining experience with preschool through kindergarten students. Calhoun City Schools will also partner with the University of West Georgia to use its Live Simulation Lab, which will provide aspiring teacher pathway students the opportunity to practice their pedagogy in a simulation setting. Finally, the program will provide families of early learning center students with literacy kits to engage them beyond the classroom.

Alford Elementary School (Gwinnett County Public Schools) in partnership with Georgia Gwinnett College – $20,000

In 2019, Alford Elementary School's third- through fifth-grade students scored 7-10 points lower on the mathematics Georgia Milestones assessment compared to the county average. The need for support increased due to lost learning opportunities as a result of the pandemic. Georgia Gwinnett College will use the grant funds to provide AES with its early learning teacher candidates specializing in math pedagogy. In a model lab structure, teacher candidates will learn best practices in math instruction and have the opportunity to apply those practices in the classroom with AES students.

Atlanta Public Schools in partnership with Leap Year – $20,000

Leap Year recruits first-generation high school graduates to serve as Fellows, spending one year as reading coaches for at-risk second graders while preparing themselves for success in college and career. In partnership with Atlanta Public Schools, Leap Year will place yearlong Fellows in three schools in their local communities to serve as mentors and tutors before committing to a postsecondary degree program.

2022 Innovative Education Fund Grant Recipients – Innovation Mini Grants

Newton County Schools – $5,000

Newton County schools will use its Mini Grant to implement a districtwide coding program for girls. The full-day coding conference aims to expose girls to careers in computer science and technology fields.

West Central Elementary School (Rome City Schools) – $5,000

West Central Elementary serves 587 students, 54 percent of whom speak exclusively Spanish at home. The language barrier limits family engagement in school activities and with teachers. The school will use its Mini Grant to create a video recording zone in the STEAM lab where students will plan, film, edit, and produce bilingual video communications to keep fellow students, families, and community members up to date on current school events, successes, and engagement opportunities.