Public education nonprofit RedefinED Atlanta announced on June 9th that it will award 10 public and charter schools serving the Atlanta Public Schools district $10,000 each in preparation for the 2023-24 academic year, donations made possible by the group’s Family and Community Engagement fund.

The funds, totaling $100,000 this year, are organized to benefit the lives of APS students both inside and outside the classroom by improving involvement efforts between students’ families and the communities that support them.

“Each year, we continue to learn about the challenges schools face getting more families and community members engaged in children’s education,” said Denesha Thompson Pressey, RedefinED Atlanta’s director of public engagement and advocacy. “With school budgets allocated heavily towards academic recovery efforts, we know additional funds will allow schools to activate families and community members by bringing them into schools and informing them of ways to get involved in supporting students and schools.”

According to its website, engaging community is one of RedefinED Atlanta’s three areas of focus. Founded in 2016, the nonprofit works to enhance the public school experience for Atlanta’s disadvantaged students and families. 

The organization established its FACE grants initiative in 2022, beginning as a micro-grant opportunity in support of the 2018-19 school year. Formerly allocating up to $1,000 to each selected school, RedefinED Atlanta will increase its funding tenfold this year to benefit the nonprofit’s next round of grantees.

The ten schools selected for the upcoming academic year are: 

Atlanta SMART Academy

Barack and Michelle Obama Academy

Beecher Hill Elementary School

Benjamin E. Mays High School

Centennial Academy Charter School

Ethos Classical Charter School

Hutchinson Elementary School

John Lewis Academy

Kimberly Elementary School

M. Agnes Jones Elementary School

Chosen schools are allowed to use the awarded money however needed. Dennis-Anthony Dent, RedefinED Atlanta’s communications director, said some of this year’s grant recipients intend to use the funding to improve students’ access to transportation and meals during school days.

“School leaders and teachers understand the unique needs of their students and communities and work best when given the trust, freedom, flexibility and resources to make the changes they feel are necessary for their students,” said executive director of RedefinED Atlanta, Ed Chang. “The unrestricted FACE grant funds are a way for educators to reimagine what great public education looks like for their students through school innovation.”

Qualifying schools can apply to receive funding from the nonprofit each year. Schools must participate in the federal Title I program and serve APS students in order to be deemed eligible to apply.

This article is one of a series of articles produced by The Atlanta Voice through support provided by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to Word In Black, a collaborative of 10 Black-owned media outlets across the country.