Drew Charter receives $2.5 million grant


Funds will benefit early childhood education

Charles R. Drew Charter School—located at 301 E Lake Blvd SE—was announced as the recipient of a five-year $2.5 million grant by way of the East Lake Foundation and the James M. Cox Foundation on March 13.

The funds will contribute to research-based professional development classes and e-coaching for early childhood teachers, according to Cox Foundation spokesman and Cox Enterprises Chairman Jim Kennedy.

“My grandfather started out as a teacher and my daughter, sister and cousin have been teachers. We are proud to support Drew Charter School because it plays an important, hands-on role in educating both young children and teachers,” Kennedy said. “It also serves as a learning lab and provides great resources that can be accessed online by teachers across the nation—creating a far-reaching impact.”

Opened in 2000, Drew Charter is Atlanta’s first public charter school with a current enrollment of more than 1,750 students in preschool to 12th grade. The school is part of a “holistic neighborhood revitalization effort” by East Lake Foundation, which is the actual recipient of the grant.

The East Lake Foundation describes itself as a provider of “the tools for families of the Villages of East Lake and students of Drew Charter School to build a better life for themselves and future generations through education, mixed-income housing and community wellness.”

Officials from the East Lake Foundation said the grant will provide an extra teacher in the classroom and that the professional development and e-coaching may serve as a model to schools throughout the country.

The Cox Pre-K Program at Drew Charter provides professional development for early education, according to officials. This includes on-site training, coaching, and free online resources—all funded through grants from the James M. Cox Foundation.

Drew Charter Pic
East Lake Foundation president Daniel Shoy, Jr., said it was an honor to receive support and investment.

“The Cox Foundation was an early believer in the power of early childhood education as a way of eliminating the achievement gap for economically disadvantaged children,” Shoy said. “[This] will ensure that the Pre-K program provides a high quality early education for our youngest scholars and a replicable model for programs across Georgia and the nation.”

According to Catherine Woodling, director of communications and marketing at the East Lake Foundation, the grant is the second received from the James M. Cox Foundation. She said obtaining it involves a five-month application process. The first of five payments was received in December.

“In December 2011, the East Lake Foundation was awarded a $2.5 million grant over five years to support the Pre-K program at Drew Charter School,” Woodling said.

For more information on Drew Charter School and the East Lake Foundation, visit www.eastlakefoundation.org.


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