Purpose Built Schools Atlanta Transform Futures and Communities
How do you know when you’ve changed a life?
Walk into one of Atlanta’s Purpose Built Schools and it’s palpable — this sense of possibility and hope and promise.
This air of success wasn’t always so easy to see.
In four formerly low-performing schools in historically disadvantaged communities, the story is changing. Purpose Built Schools Atlanta has been working with Atlanta Public Schools in south Atlanta to make these schools the heart of their communities.
To do that, the teachers and administrators offer comprehensive support to students and their families. They address all the obstacles to academic growth, whether that be food insecurity, family instability, quality of housing or healthcare — anything that can blur the focus of a child trying to learn. They don’t shun the myriad problems that students bring with them to school; they embrace them and help them overcome them.
“If we really want to be serious about positive change, we have to think differently about how we support students,” says Slater Elementary Principal Donya Kemp. “We support them as people, not just as test scores.”
Southern Company has been a key partner in fulfilling this mission. Southern Company has donated $38 million over the years through its PGA TOUR Championship partnership to support groups like Purpose Built Schools Atlanta that are changing lives and building bright futures.
The Purpose Built approach combines the best of charter schools and the best of public schools with a huge dose of compassion thrown in. And as Kemp says, the results are “magical,” as communities transform into the kind of place anyone would be proud to call home.
Bentina Terry, Georgia Power senior vice president of Region External Affairs & Community Engagement, describes the organization’s impact perfectly: “Your ZIP code is not your destiny. What Purpose Built Schools Atlanta really ensures is that children have the resources they need to be anything they aspire to be."