UPDATE: Check out the photo gallery here.
It may have been increasingly hot outside, but the students and parents of the East Atlanta neighborhood were having a cool time Saturday morning inside Burgess-Peterson Academy at the school’s Open House Community Day. The event, similar to many around APS this past weekend, served as an introduction for students and parents for their school. Burgess-Peterson turned this introduction into a showcase of the school and its surrounding neighborhood, inviting community partners to provide everything from health screenings and parent support organizations to karate demonstrations and dance performances.
Principal Robin Robbins emphasized the school’s deep commitment to its community partners throughout the day, and the parents definitely got the message. They not only are able to join the school’s PTA, led by Chris Hampton, but also can participate in the East Atlanta Parent Network (represented by Dennis Madsen), which works with all of the neighborhood’s schools. As noted in a recent Atlanta Educator article, East Atlanta is becoming increasingly diverse, and prospective parents are drawn to Burgess-Peterson’s community partnerships that appeal to parents who want a quality education for their children and believe in public schools.
The Open House Community Day was a great example of the school’s diversity. All of the school’s pre-K slots were filled, and the halls were filled with pre-K students and parents. The school also was able to showcase its award-winning wellness efforts that now featuring a federal grant to promote increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, as well as a teaching garden on the edge of the forest in the back of the school grounds. Burgess-Peterson already has an edible garden in the courtyard and is a participant in the Be Water Wise Atlanta program.
The guests enjoyed a healthy karate demonstration from Sensei Frank Crawford at Life Martial Arts as well as dance performances from the nearby Journey Performing Arts Center, which will help partner on a dance program this year at the school. Community partners Lejoy Gifts and Floral Shop, ExecSpa, the East Lake YMCA’s PrimeTime AfterSchool and Children’s Heathcare of Atlanta (which provided the blood-pressure screenings) all set up booths inside the school. Blackwell Entertainment provided the music.