AT&T Commits $200K to Westside Future Fund, Hollis Innovation Academy

Westside Future Fund is proud to announce AT&T as one of its newest community partners in the equitable, holistic revitalization of Atlanta’s Historic Westside.

In Westside Future Fund’s mission to elevate the quality of life for residents in four of the city’s most vulnerable neighborhoods, the nonprofit has identified four impact areas on which to focus its work: community health and wellness; safety and security; quality mixed-income neighborhoods; and cradle-to-career education.

As a fundamental pillar of its cradle-to-career education strategy, Westside Future Fund announced a 5-year, $16.4M partnership with Atlanta Public Schools’ (APS) and Hollis Innovation Academy on July 20, 2017. The partnership will increase access to high-quality educational options and wraparound support services for children in the Historic Westside neighborhoods of Ashview Heights, Atlanta University Center, English Avenue and Vine City.

AT&T joins Atlanta-based companies The Coca-Cola Company and SunTrust Bank as direct supporters of Westside Future Fund’s commitment to APS and Hollis Innovation Academy.

In addition to building organizational capacity, AT&T’s contribution will support STEM-based education at Hollis Innovation Academy, which includes the implementation of an Expeditionary Learning (EL) framework which will help strengthen the academic engagement and performance of the community’s youth.

“Educational opportunities offer the keys to success,” said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “And, the Westside Future Fund offers our youth opportunities to learn and grow, while supported by a city who cares about their success. I am excited about these students’ future – our future – and continue to be inspired by the amazing things we can accomplish when we’re united around a common goal of giving hope and a brighter future for all Atlantans.”

“It is now possible to deliver high-quality education to children on the Westside thanks to support from AT&T and the coordinated efforts of the Westside Future Fund,” said Dr. Diamond Jack, principal of Hollis Innovation Academy. “This investment will make a tremendous difference as we make Hollis Academy an innovative learning model that benefits our students, families and the surrounding community.”

Expeditionary Learning is a comprehensive, inquiry-based school model that guides the curriculum, resources, instructional strategies, assessment and culture at Hollis. A focus of EL is to have children assume responsibility, passion and ownership of their learning process. Students learn to track and monitor their own progress, and how best to work on the areas that they want to improve.

To strengthen school culture around these habits, high-level coaching from national “thought partners” helps staff members think through major decisions, share leadership, strategize student achievement and make decisions around professional development needs. A school designer offers expertise in classroom management, student engagement, assessment strategies and can assign different coaches based on needs identified in the school’s work plan.

“At AT&T, we are committed to helping people connect with their world and with opportunities and resources that make life more fulfilling,” stated Bill Leahy, president of AT&T Georgia. “We are proud to support Westside Future Fund, an organization that is working to enrich lives and positively impacts our city and state by preparing our youth to successfully achieve their educational goals.”

“Westside Future Fund’s focus on academic success is a key component of our revitalization efforts and empowers our diverse youth to become successful drivers in our community and our state,” stated John Ahmann, executive director of the Westside Future Fund. “We are thrilled to have AT&T’s support and applaud their long-standing commitment to enhancing educational opportunities for all.”

In addition to helping fund the innovative Expeditionary Learning framework, AT&T’s contribution supports wraparound services to transform academic outcomes for Hollis Academy students and the provision of STEM-based activities, camps, workshops, field trips and competitions held in partnership with Georgia Tech for fifth and sixth-grade students during the 2017-18 school year. These wraparound services will help ensure students increase performance in English Language Arts (ELA) milestones as measured by the annual Georgia Milestones Assessment System.

Westside Future Fund’s partnership with Atlanta Public Schools and Hollis is central to its commitment to quality “cradle-to-career” education as part of its collaborative community revitalization strategy.

The Westside Future Fund is also very supportive of affordable, high-quality early childhood education, illustrated through its support of the YMCA’s new Leadership and Learning Center, which will be a feeder into Hollis. It is scheduled to open in Vine City fall of 2018.


Click here to download the full press release. 


About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T
AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. We have a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities, promote academic and economic achievement, and address community needs. Our AT&T Aspire initiative uses innovation in education to drive student success in school and beyond. With a financial commitment of $400 million since 2008, AT&T is leveraging technology, relationships and social innovation to help all students make their biggest dreams a reality.

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