"Education is the foundation upon which our state’s economy is built and, the stronger and more equitable we can make the experience for learners at every level, the higher the potential for every Georgian and every community."
Georgia Power is collaborating with the individual school districts as they use the funds to create or further enhance impactful programs to build programs that can be sustained through additional partner funding or community support. Additionally, the company will help to facilitate the exchange of best practices among the districts and manage the overall initiative, while the individual districts will select, implement and monitor programs in their areas and develop key performance indicators to track progress.
School districts participating in the new initiative were selected based on interviews with key influencers in the education space and on research on family poverty rates, unemployment, access to early learning, Kindergarten readiness, postsecondary preparedness, and postsecondary attainment. Each district is developing plans to support early learners, birth to age three, through literacy and wraparound services.
Another top priority for the four districts is engaging parents in school activities and skills training. While plans are being finalized in advance of the 2022/2023 school year, programs are expected to include the following:
- Clayton County Public Schools will utilize funding to improve career readiness and workforce opportunities for graduating seniors. Secondly, the district will improve access to early education and work with child caring organizations in the county to increase kindergarten readiness. The district also plans to expand its work-based learning program and create a soft skills academy for students.
- Dougherty County School System will use the funding to develop a career-focused high school graduation option for students, including expanding Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) pathways with paid internships, career guidance, technical training, and opportunities to earn industry certifications. The district also will strengthen partnerships with business and community organizations to increase the talent pipeline for specific, technical career fields by reskilling and upskilling underemployed and unemployed adults. In addition to the career-focused initiatives, the district will provide schools with resources for STEM enrichment and education.
- Richmond County School System will use the funding to expand opportunities for high school students to have hands-on work experience in the Students2Work program. Additionally, the school system will implement Parent University to connect families with resources, training, and tools to support student learning and promote academic success.
- Savannah-Chatham County Public School System will use the funding to implement a K-12 STEM/STEAM track, enhance early childhood learning, and address barriers that impede postsecondary and/or career success. The district also will improve alignment to regional workforce needs and expand student learning opportunities that include employability skills and training, transportation, and support to enhance work-based learning experiences.
Georgia Power’s longstanding commitment to improving education and supporting the state’s educators includes workforce development programs, power plant tours, partnerships with various education nonprofits, and the company’s marquee Learning Power program. Since its launch in 2011, Learning Power has partnered with educators to reach more than 900,000 students across Georgia with hands-on, STEM-based energy and energy efficiency lessons at all grade levels, Pre-K through high school.
Video Note: We congratulate Lisa Smith on her recent promotion to Senior Vice President of Region Affairs and Community Engagement and thank her for her leadership. We are excited to welcome Walt Farrell as the Vice President of Community & Economic Development as of April 2022.