Monthly Archives: October 2013

Hope-Hill Elementary School (HHES) 2013 Volunteer Opportunities

The staff of Hope-Hill Elementary is eager to enlist UUCA members and other community partners as volunteers at the school.  Principal Maureen Wheeler told us, “We’ll use as many volunteers as you can give us.”woman and young boy

To help you decide when and how you’d like to help, please click  on 2013 HHES Volunteer Opportunities to review available volunteer opportunities.  After deciding what you’d like to do, follow the steps below.

Atlanta Public Schools (APS) now require volunteers to renew their background check each new academic year.  If you have not already done so, you can obtain the required background check form at the  website below.  (The form is available at the Hope-Hill table in the Social Hall on Sundays.)  In a single visit to the school, you can turn in your completed form and obtain a volunteer assignment that matches your preferences!

Here’s what to do:

  1. Go to  Click on Volunteer Release Form.  Print and complete the form as a Level 2 Volunteer.
  2. Take your completed form, plus your driver’s license or other photo ID to Hope-Hill ES (112 Boulevard NE, Atlanta 30312).  Give the form to Nicole Jones at the front desk.  She will make a copy of your driver’s license or other picture ID and submit the form to APS.  It takes about a week for the form to be processed.
  3. While at the school, ask to meet with one of the two Instructional Coaches:  Kelly Day (grades K-2) or Michelle Crawford (grades 3-5).  They will help you find the grade level, subject area, time slot, and day(s) of week to match your preferences.   If Michelle or Kelly are not available, you can call to make a later appointment by calling 404-802-7450 or e-mail: or

As soon as your background check is cleared by APS headquarters, you will be notified, and you can go to work helping kids learn.

You might want to jot on a slip of paper your contact info along with your volunteer preferences, such as grade level/age, subject, times, etc.

Please be sure to let Howard Rees, UUCA/Hope-Hill Volunteer Coordinator  know what your assignment is, and if  he can be of  help to you.  Here is Howard’s contact information:  Phone: 404-874-0500; E-mail:

Thank you for your commitment of time and for caring about the precious children of Hope-Hill.

Jocelyn Medium Pic

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“Will there be enough food for dinner tonight?” Food Insecurity in Atlanta neighborhoods.

Love thy Neighbor empty cupboard(Read all the posts in this series about food insecurity. Click “like” at the bottom, and you will get them automatically.  )

This November, in addition to thinking about FOOD, UUCA will also ponder and act on Food Insecurity in Atlanta.

Food Insecurity:  It means “Not knowing whether you will have enough food for the next meal.”

Thankfully, Food Insecurity is rare within our UUCA walls. But among the children at Hope-Hill Elementary School, food insecurity is a living, breathing factor in daily life. Almost all these children are poor and qualify for both free breakfast and free lunch at school. But will there be food at dinner at the end of the month? Is there food on the weekends? Is it nutritious food?

“Love thy Neighbor – especially when s/he is hungry,”                                               November’s spotlight on hunger, is a TiLove thy Neighbor logome to Learn, A Time to Act.             It is a project for ALL UUCA members.

A Time to Donate and Deliver Food:

On Sunday, November 24, UUCA members will pack and deliver 130 boxes of Thanksgiving and other food to families living in the Bedford Pine low- income community, home to a large number of Hope-Hill children.

How can you participate?
1) You and your family can sign up to shop for Thanksgiving items for one Bedford Pine family. You’ll get a grocery list of items to purchase for no more than $20.

Register here to shop for groceries.

2) If you want to help, but cannot shop, you can make a cash donation. We need to raise some cash to purchase hams or chickens for all those boxes.

Register here to donate money.

3) Volunteer yourself or your family that same Sunday, November 24, to pack boxes with food, add notes written by the RE children, and, if you wish, deliver them. At Bedford Pine the food will be distributed to families with the guidance of friends at Operation PEACE.

Register here to pack boxes.

Learn More About Food Insecurity:
Stop at the “Love thy Neighbor” Social Hall table at UUCA every Sunday in November. There you can sign up to shop for a family. Donate money. Volunteer to pack or deliver food boxes. Learn more about Food Insecurity.

And if you are interested in helping UUCA DO MORE about Food Insecurity, we want to know you!!! Drop a note to:


Filed under Events, Help for Homeless and Struggling Families, Hope-Hill Neighborhood Partnership for Academic Excellence

Big Bethel AME Invites UUCA to Join in Interfaith Observance of Children’s Sabbath this Saturday

Each year the Children’s Defense Fund and the Interfaith Children’s Movement encourage observance of Children’s Sabbath by “churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and other faith communities across the country in this celebration [that hold] special worship services, education programs, and advocacy activities to engage people of faith in improving the lives of children and their families.” In some prior years UUCA has been privileged to host the Children’s Sabbath.

This year our good friend Rev. Bessie Robinson of Big Bethel AME Church in downtown Atlanta has invited us to join in their congregation’s observance of this important intergenerational, interfaith worship opportunity. The service at Big Bethel, located at 220 Auburn Avenue, will begin at noon this Saturday, October 19.

It will follow Big Bethel’s Saturday morning outreach program for children, in which a number of UUCA members and friends participate.
Children's Sabbath

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Filed under Child Health--Insurance, Obesity, and Other Issues, Ending Childhood Sexual Exploitation, Events, Help for Homeless and Struggling Families

TrueBlueSchools: Earn $’s for Hope Hill School!

Here is an easy way for all UUCA members/friends to help Hope-Hill Elementary earn much needed funds.


If you are a Georgia Natural Gas (GNG) customer, GNG will donate $5 per month for each new and existing customer who goes on-line ( and selects Hope Hill as their school of choice. Customers who switch to GNG from another provider can receive a savings on their monthly gas bill!**  Call 1-866-ONLYGNG to sign up by phone.

If you are are not a natural gas consumer, you can help by telling family members, friends, and those with whom you do business, i.e. dry cleaner, favorite restaurant/shop, etc., about the TrueBlue Schools Program. You can encourage everyone you know who is a natural gas consumer to sign-up and select Hope Hill Elementary.

We have an amazing potential for helping the school earn big bucks. If we generate 200 sign-ups, Hope Hill could receive $1,000 per month or $12,000 per year! How good would that be! Imagine the difference we can make:

  • Teachers able to obtain specialized learning materials for kids with unique learning needs.
  • Mind-expanding field trips.
  • Special, school-wide academic enrichment programs.

In wealthier schools, parents typically pay for or donate money to cover costs for special programs, events, and resources. Hope Hill is resource poor in comparison to other elementary schools in its cluster. Through our participation in and promotion of TrueBlue Schools, UUCA can make a substantial contribution toward helping the school earn the money it needs to better educate our Hope Hill kids.

Here are the steps to sign-up:

  •  Log onto
  •  Click on Program Details ► How It Works ► Enroll Now. Follow the instructions. You will need your natural gas service account number.
  •  Do not put a hyphen (-) in Hope Hill when you enter the school’s name. Click on Hope Hill Elementary School when it pops-up.
  •  There is an FAQ with complete details about the program on the site.

Join the call of Priscilla Borders, President, Hope Hill PTA for all of the school’s community partners to participate in and promote the TrueBlue Schools Program. To date, the school has earned $555 from the participation of PTA members, school staff, and community partners like UUCA.

Follow the lead of Joy Borra, UUCA member and leader of UUCA’s Promise the Children ministry. When asked why she signed up, Joy said, “With one SHORT online session, I got Georgia Natural Gas to donate $60 a year ($5 a month) of THEIR money, not mine (!) to my favorite school – Hope Hill Elementary! Seemed like a “no-brainer”! If GNG only donated $5 one time, it would not be worth my effort. But they donate $5 every month! $60 a year…$300 in five years…. And I don’t have to do anything more to keep those contributions going. AMAZING!”


Thanks in advance for helping UUCA make a difference in the lives of the kids at Hope Hill.

** From the FAQ on the website: “The monthly donation of $5/month is NOT added to your gas bill. In fact, it doesn’t cost you anything to sign up for the TrueBlue Schools program. GNG’s rates will not be raised to pay for this program or donations.”

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Filed under Hope-Hill Neighborhood Partnership for Academic Excellence, Uncategorized

At Partner Summit Hope-Hill’s New Principal Acknowledges Problems, Announces Five Goals

Last week Hope-Hill’s new principal, Ms. Maureen Wheeler, held a Partner Summit with representatives from UUCA and other partner organizations. She minced no words. Looking in the aggregate at the school’s standardized test for the last academic year in grades three through five,

  • 23 percent failed reading,
  • 28.6 percent failed English/language arts,
  • 43.8 percent failed math,
  • 49.1 percent failed social studies, and
  • 50.3 percent failed math.

Some Hope-Hill students are doing well. But far too many are failing now—and academic failure now is only the precursor to a downward spiral later on in life.

And, as Ms. Wheeler pointed out, the problems that show up when standardized testing begins in grade three begin with a failure to master basic skills in the earlier grades.

Too many Hope-Hill students walk in the kindergarten door lacking the number sense and the vocabulary on which academic success is built. The problem is intractable. Declaring grandiose aspirations doesn’t solve the problem. Reasonable, measurable goals are needed. To that end, Ms. Wheeler announced these five goals for Hope-Hill Elementary School:

1. To increase reading achievement by 5-10 percent in grades three through five by

  • vocabulary acquisition,
  • literacy across the content,
  • writing across the curriculum, and
  • early literacy programs.

2. To increase math achievement in grades three through five by 5-10 percent.

3. To increase the amount of parent participation by 50 percent for education workshops focused on improving student achievement.

4. Implementing a Positive Behavior Intervention Program: “Eagle Expectations.”

5. Providing a welcoming, safe and supportive environment for all stakeholders.

We welcome and support these goals. Come by our table in the social hall on Sundays to find out more about how you can help.

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Filed under Hope-Hill Neighborhood Partnership for Academic Excellence