There Are No Children at the Door

Atlanta is beginning to see the results of gentrification in Historic Black communities. Since the early 2000’s the focus on removing affordable housing projects in communities, school closings, the cheating scandal and poor educational and government leadership have turned once thriving African-American based communities to now dying communities. Now dying communities due to the lack of affordable housing, closing schools, job opportunities and a food desert. This has resulted in our community organizations such as Raising Expectations to be faced with another grave challenge; the absence of our children. Simply put,  there are no children at the doors and it is time to find out why. 

Raising Expectations has been supporting underserved children and youth in the city of Atlanta and our communities since 1995. They have exclusively been supporting youth residing within communities supported by the Washington High School cluster since 2004.  In 13 years of serving us in the Westside, Raising Expectations has worked with community leaders to lift and support the children and families as the communities and schools have faced significant transitions. When talked to our communities, one residents shared these thoughts:

One of our parents, Ms. Johnson,  who lives across the street from RE was upset to learn about the fact that transportation has delayed for the program’s start date three times.  During one of our many community meetings, she expressed her concerns. She stated, “You mean to tell me I have a Mercedes-Benz logo shining right into the front room of my house and we can’t get anyone to help us with transportation?”  Frustrated with our continually delayed start time she went on to say, “This is affecting my household income.  How can I stay in the community if my son’s father has to cut his hours to part-time so that he can pick up my son from the school at a certain time.  I stay within a mile radius so there isn’t a bus route that goes to my house.  His father leaves his job to come pick up our son and therefore full-time hours and overtime is no longer an option for him.”  This parent is just one of MANY who have expressed why there is a great need for  Raising Expectations to be in the community. The longer the RE programming is delayed is placing our children in harms way.

Raising Expectations has received a lot of support from our residents and families over the years.  RE cannot continue to help ensure our children and families have an opportunity to leverage all the investments coming into the community without our advocacy and help. Parents, alumni, community residents and policy makers must stand together. 

Last school year, RE served 152 children and youth in our community. This year, the support will touch over 160 Washington Cluster youth during the school year and over the summer with wrap around supports.  We need your help to ensure that the legacy of Raising Expectations serving Westside children, youth and families can continue into the future. This is our shot!

RE is still in need of another bus! Here’s how people around the Nation can assist Raising Expectations, as successful organization in Atlanta, Georgia that has a track record of helping inner city scholars and families find success academically and socially K – 12.  Go to their website and see ways to donate.

Below are people we can reach out to in efforts to support our neighborhood organization and ensure the resources needed meet them at their location so that children can be at the doors:

 

Dr. Meria J. Carstarphen

Superintendent

Atlanta Public Schools

Ph: 404.802.2820

E-Mail: [email protected]

 

Mr. John Ahmann

Executive Director

Westside Future Fund

Ph: 404.793.2670

E-Mail: [email protected]

Executive Assistant: Lauren Estadt, 404.793.2672 (P), 205.394.3343 (C)

 

Penny McPhee

President and Director

Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

Ph: (404) 367-2100

E-Mail: [email protected]  

 

Frank Fernandez

Vice President of Community Development

Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

Ph: 404.367.2060

E-Mail: [email protected]

 

Courtney English

Board Member, Chairperson

APS School Board

Ph: 404.581.6811

E-Mail: [email protected]

 

Byron Amos

Board Member

APS School Board

Ph: 404.581.6811

E-Mail: [email protected]

 

Leslie Grant

Board Member

APS School Board

Ph: 404.581.6811

E-Mail: [email protected]

 

Cynthia Briscoe Brown

Board Member

APS School Board

Ph: 404.581.6811

E-Mail: [email protected]

 

 

For more information and ways to help Raising Expectations, please see the information below:

Tangee Allen; Co-Founder

Raising Expectations Inc.

404.802.3677 (o) | 678.653.4219 (c) | 404.581.5806 (f)

www.raisingexpectations.org

 

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Jason has worked in education for over 15 years as a teacher, blogger and community advocate. He speaks and writes primarily about the need to improve education for Black boys, particularly increasing the number of Black male educators in schools. In addition to blogging here at EdLanta, Jason is also a featured writer at Education Post.

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