Tag Archives: Hope-Hill

Atlanta: US Capital City of Inequality

A March 5 editorial by Jay Bookman in the AJC calls attention to data showing that Atlanta suffers from the largest disparity in income between rich and poor of any other large US city.

“The questions are why that gap exists, and how it might be closed,” Bookman writes. Having asked the questions, he does not pretend to provide definitive answers. But he observes that extreme inequality is closely associated with isolation and de facto segregation–and that the relevant data prove that positions at the bottom of the income scale are in essence hereditary.

Bookman concludes by observing that

what we see around us today are the results of patterns both in individual lives and in the life of a city that have proved stubbornly resistant to change. And the best catalyst for that change remains a strong teacher in a classroom, opening doors and opening minds, who is supported by a larger community that finds the status quo unacceptable.

That’s us. We find the status quo unacceptable. And that’s why we work with kids at Hope=Hill, Operation P.E.A.C.E., and Big Bethel AME Church. It isn’t always easy. But it’s work that must be done.

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

How Long will he Survive?

From Richard Bergman

“Sit down.

“I need you to be quiet.

“Put on your glasses.

“Take them off.

“Stop playing with them.

“Stop talking.”

His presentation blew me away. Distinctive and creative. No one else could have done it. Delivered with infectious excitement and passion.

He had prepared three when only one was required. We only had time for one. We had to move on. We had a lot to cover.

I mentioned a topic and he asked if I would tell him more. I brought him an article from the Wall Street Journal. Twice I’ve given hm pieces from the New York Times.

He has devoured them.

“Stop talking.

“We need to keep moving.

“We’ve got a lot to cover.”

How long will he survive?

Willing to ask him a question or two? Interested in what he has to say?

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Filed under Hope-Hill Neighborhood Partnership for Academic Excellence, Our Stories

Another Day of Hope

Not Your Typical Writing Workshop

From Richard Bergman

What if I told you we had to interrupt a full day writing workshop for Hope-Hill fourth and fifth graders to let them know it was time to go home? What if they didn’t want to go!

It’s true. And, like the majority of the students, I spent the better part of the day on my feet singing and dancing.

The tunes of Bon Jovi and over 45 other artists intermixed with a captivating PowerPoint reinforcing the importance of a thesis statement, organizing principles for expository writing, pronoun antecedent agreement, and so forth. I’ll bet many of your favorites–both songs and writing tips–were included.

No need to consult a thesaurus. Students were running to the front of the room, jockeying for position to copy down 24 alternatives to the word “and,” in order to liven up their writing.

Don’t believe me? Check out the magical teaching methods of Erik Cork’s “Rap, Rhythm, and Rhyme” writing workshop that came to Hope-Hill in January.

The Math is Fun Club is Actually Fun

From Howard Rees

I was in the HHES library one morning this week, in between tutoring appointments, when Ty, a second-grade boy walked by me and exclaimed, “Mr. Rees, I can’t wait until Math Club tomorrow!” Evidently the “Math Is Fun Club,” is living up to its name.

I’m one of five helpers in the weekly after-school club organized superbly by Jane MacGregor.

After a snack, the dozen second-grade club members have fun playing math related games that reinforce and supplement their classroom curriculum.


Meanwhile, Back in Kindergarten . . .

From Ron Davis

About half of the children at Hope-Hill have serious difficulty with math. As Howard’s story indicates, rather than cursing the darkness we’re lighting a candle.

Meanwhile, back in kindergarten at Hope-Hill, I’m doing my thing with words. On Friday little Serena continued to practice for her future role as CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

Reginald actually did what he was supposed to do, and let me help him write his sentence per the teacher’s directions. That’s good; there is much to be said for doing what you’re supposed to do.

Caleb was feeling silly, had trouble focusing, and didn’t accomplish very much. “You’re just being silly today,” I said. “No,” he replied, “I’m being bad.” Fortunately, Caleb doesn’t yet know what being bad means.

But I save the really good news for last. Little Xavier seems to have come out of the fog that affected him in prior weeks and has rejoined the group. Now, when asked to write about what he did during the snow days, he’s not satisfied with something on the order of “I made a snow angel.” Instead he wants to write a three line sentence with a complex grammatical structure.

I’m not sure Xavier is yet out of the woods. I am sure that he’s worth saving–and that to save him, it will take a village. I’m happy to be one of the villagers.

* * *

When we tell our stories, the stories are real, but the children’s names are changed.

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Filed under Hope-Hill Neighborhood Partnership for Academic Excellence, Our Stories

Was School a Problem for You?

At times I had difficulty in school.

I wonder if you did.

Whatever your answer, please come visit us at the Hope-Hill Elementary School table in the Social Hall. Drawing on your experiences, you can reach a child.

Whether school was ever a problem for you—-or—-the school labelled you the problem, you can relate to the children at Hope-Hill.

Going out on a limb here, based on some familiarity with Unitarian Universalists, I’ll venture a guess that many of us caused problems in our schools!

“Perish the thought! That’s outrageous! How dare you!

“I’m on my way to the Hope-Hill table right now to set you straight!”

Would it surprise you to know that some children perceived as troublemakers, difficult, even “bad kids” find time in the classroom  boring?

Maybe you know that from personal experience. Maybe you hear that from your own children or grandchildren.

Some children catch on more quickly, have talents that aren’t being tapped, dreams that are pinched, talents not immediately recognized. I can’t begin to explain all the reasons why school can be difficult.

Our UUCA partnership with Hope-Hill Elementary focuses on making positive differences in young people’s lives.

Please stop by the Hope-Hill table to find out how you can help students succeed in school today.

Richard Bergman

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Filed under Hope-Hill Neighborhood Partnership for Academic Excellence, Our Stories

Labels for Education: A New Way to Support Hope-Hill School


Hope-Hill Elementary now participates in the LABELS FOR EDUCATION program.  The school can redeem the coupons for merchandise to benefit the school, teachers and students. Priscilla Borders, Hope-Hill’s PTA President is encouraging all of the school’s community partners, like UUCA, to CLIP and GIVE to help the school Earn!

It is easy to spot Labels for Education coupons on numerous grocery and household products, such as Campbell’s, V8 Juice, Prego, Dannon, Pepperidge Farm, Glad, and Pop-Secret.  For a complete list of participating products, visit: http://www.labelsforeducation.com/Earn-Points/Participating-Products or stop by the Hope-Hill table in the Social Hall on Sundays.

All you do is:

  • Purchase products that contain Labels for Education coupons;
  • Clip the coupons; and
  • Turn in your coupons at the Hope-Hill table. (Also, there is a collection box mounted on the Hope-Hill bulletin board across from Room 208.)

Labels for Ed Logo

Bonus Points.  Through January 31st, help earn 100 BONUS POINTS by collecting 5 UPCs from any Labels for Education participating brands.  We can earn 50 BONUS POINTS by collecting 5 UPCs from Pepperidge Farm products and 5 UPCs from any Campbell’s products.

This is an easy way for UUCA members, friends, and families to support the children and teachers at Hope-Hill.  Get your kids involved.  Ask them to help you spot Labels for Education products in the grocery store.  They can clip (with your help) the coupons and turn them in.  This is a great way to teach kids to be mindful of the needs of others and to encourage their spirit of helpfulness.  Won’t you and your family help?  Thanks for making a difference for Hope-Hill kids and teachers.

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Filed under Hope-Hill Neighborhood Partnership for Academic Excellence

“Love thy Neighbor” food sharing is Sunday. Then what?

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

“Love thy Neighbor” food sharing is Sunday.

Then what? 

This Sunday, Nov. 24, many UUCA members will bring food to donate. 

They have shopped for 100 food insecure families in the Old Fourth Ward community.  We’ll pack the food in cardboard boxes, and drive the boxes downtown.  Families will pick the food up from our partner, Operation PEACE.

But, Promise the Children advocates always keep in mind:  This project is not an end;  it must be a beginning.  Even though this is a large food sharing project, next month, the families will be hungry again.

So. What’s next?

It’s pretty exciting! 

On Thursday, December 5,  UUCA will help City Councilman Kwanza Hall host  a “Community Conversation about Food Insecurity in the Old Fourth Ward.”  (10:00 a.m – noon, Fort Street Methodist, 562 Boulevard Ave.)

We expect this will be the first of several conversations aimed at identifying the gaps between all our good intentions and people who still lack adequate food.

If food insecurity is an issue you care about, let us know. We’re building UUCA group to work with the large and varied group  in the Old Fourth Ward – a long-term food project.  

If you have an interest, let us know… this is NOT committing you to DOING anything!  Email PromiseTheChildren@uuca.org.

More  Background:

Food Insecurity.  It means people who don’t have regular access to enough nourishing food for a healthy, active life.

In the Old Fourth Ward, food insecurity isn’t just some fancy words… It lives and breathes; it haunts many residents.

We are concerned about the children who are doing poorly in school because they do not get enough food or the right kind of food at home.

We are concerned about our elders whose often limited incomes and limited mobility to make it hard for them to get enough nourishing food.

There are questions we want to ask:

          –   What is the extent to which hunger is  a problem in the Old Fourth Ward           neighborhood? 

          – What  groups are helping with food and nutrition in our area?  How successful are we being at helping people keep food on their tables?

          – What is missing; where are the gaps? 

          – What can we do together, pooling our efforts,  to bring more food nourishing food to citizens in the Old Fourth Ward? 

Who will be attending the “Conversation about Food Insecurity”? 

          – People who have the experience of not getting enough to eat at the end of the month, when SNAP benefits have run out.

          – Schools, day care centers and senior centers where hungry people gather.

          -And the organizations that provide food – from the food bank to the local churches that serve hot meals.

UUCA’s Role: 

UUCA has worked in the Old Fourth Ward for two decades at Hope-Hill Elementary School. We provide tutors, after school clubs, and other resources that the school lacks. 

For the last two years, UUCA has built a coalition with other churches and neighborhood organizations to make sure that most Hope-Hill students attend summer enrichment programs that feed both their minds and their bodies.

Through a broad community coalition, UUCA will be supporting  a larger  conversation about how to increase the amount of nutritious food  for families of Hope-Hill Elementary children and for the elderly who live in the area.


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November 18, 2013 · 4:13 pm

How is Hunger Affecting Students at Hope-Hill Elementary?

Food Insecurity – #3 in a series (Read all the posts about food insecurity. Click “like” at the bottom, and you will get them automatically.  )

How is Hunger

Affecting Students

at Hope-Hill Elementary?

 ( Remember to Participate in UUCA’s Thanksgiving “Love Thy Neighbor” Food Project.  https://promisethechildrenatuuca.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/food-insecurity-1/

 First, a significant number of Hope-Hill students come to school hungry:

 From a  teacher at Hope-Hill:

 “Joy, I have had your initiative on my mind all week.  I love that your church is considering working on Food insecurity.  This is a worth-while effort , and that  Hope-Hill will benefit is a true blessing. 

 “One of the issues I have recognized since my arrival is that a great many of our children come into the school day with anger and discomfort.  A good bit of that is because they are hungry.  They did not get breakfast at home that morning and/or they got no dinner the night before. 

 “I can tell you that I could identify, right now, at least five students are regularly hungry in the fifth grade where I teach, and that’s probably a modest number.”


How does being hungry affect Hope-Hill Children?

 Child hunger is an educational problem.

 •   Hungry children do more poorly in school and have lower academic achievement because they cannot concentrate.

 • Hungry children have more social and behavioral problems because they feel bad, have less energy for complex social interactions.

 • Hungry children ages 0-3 years cannot learn as much, as fast, or as well, because chronic poor nutrition harms their cognitive development during this period of rapid brain growth. This affects them for life. 

 •  Hungry children are sick more often, and more likely to have to be hospitalized (the costs of which are passed along to the taxpayers). ( from Atlanta Community Food Bank website)

 Being Food Insecure.  It haunts the 658 children in Bedford Pine

There are 658 children under 18 who live in  Bedford Pine  –   many of whom attend Hope-Hill school. Their mothers are mostly single, mostly young and almost all very poor.  Nourishing food at end of month and on weekends (when there is no school) is in very short supply.

Food Insecurity.  Defined as:The limited or uncertain availability of enough food, and nutritionally adequate foods for an active, healthy life.  or “People who aren’t sure whether they’ll have food for dinner tonight.”


In the coming days, our PTC Food Insecurity posts will consider: Hunger 101- Why people in Bedford Pine are hungry. The Hows and Whys of SNAP.  A Challenge to live a week on SNAP.  Sources of food for food insecure people. What will we do to change it.

Please follow along, and please, let the subject of food insecurity be a topic of conversation with family and friends and colleagues around you!

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November 7, 2013 · 9:07 pm