On Monday, March 27, 2017, WINGS Atlanta's Executive Director Denise Blake was honored to attend a convening of 50 representatives from youth-serving organizations in the Atlanta metro area. Hosted by Youth Today, along with GUIDE, Inc., and Gwinnett County Parks & Recreation/Live Healthy Gwinnett, Atlanta-area thought leaders in rich conversation about youth development.
Key topics included: preparing staff to serve diverse populations, honoring youth voices, and establishing partnerships. The conversation was particularly topical in light of the proposed federal budget, which would reduce or eliminate some of the resources currently provided to youth-serving groups.
Outcomes from the convening will be used to help inform Youth Today’s editorial content and impact.
About Guide, Inc.: GUIDE’s mission is to mobilize and equip the Gwinnett community with the information and strategies needed to promote positive youth development, improve community conditions and address other issues associated with substance use and abuse.
On February 22-25, 2017, the Beyond School Hours Conference will land here in Atlanta! This annual event provides vital professional development opportunities for educators and leaders working with students of all ages, across the learning day, all across America. Attendees discover what's new in funding and programming strategies, and they attend workshops and site visits to explore best practices and cutting-edge issues. They get the latest tools and insights for improving education for young people – while they refresh, renew, and have fun connecting with peers and experts.
WINGS is again participating in this conference and Atlanta Executive Director Denise Blake is presenting two workshops. Entitled Developing Socially-Emotionally Smart Students in the 21st Century, the workshops will explore how social-emotional learning (SEL) is key to building healthy relationships and achieving academic, career and life goals.
WINGS' program at Heritage Elementary School is also one of just three Atlanta out-of-school-time programs that participants can visit while attending the conference. WINGS at Heritage is in its fifth year and serves 144 students in grades K-5.
We look forward to hosting educators from around the country next month!
On August 29th, WINGS Atlanta opened its fifth program serving almost 100 high-flying kids. That's right, not only is E.S. Hutchinson our new elementary school partner, but WINGS Atlanta is now serving kids in two school districts - Fulton County Schools AND Atlanta Public Schools.
We are SO excited to prepare for our 5th year of service in Atlanta!
This fall, WINGS Atlanta will grow to five school partners and will serve more than 600 students every day! We welcome Atlanta Public Schools' Hutchinson Elementary to the WINGS family. Hutchinson joins our current Fulton County Schools locations, which include Bethune, Nolan, Lewis and Heritage Elementary Schools.
Friday, May 13, 2016 marked the last day of four years of WINGS programming here in Atlanta! As is our tradition, each of our four school programs celebrated the end of the year with a student graduation and performance.
Proud parents packed the cafeteria at Love T. Nolan Elementary School in College Park for the WINGS Graduation Ceremony on May 12, 2016 to celebrate the end of the programming year and the accomplishments of WINGS kids.
On March 20, 2016, WINGS joined 4,000 colleagues from nonprofit organizations around the globe at the 2016 Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) International Conference in Boston, MA. Kofi Annan, founding chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation and former Secretary-General of the United Nations, was one of the keynote speakers and a highlight of the conference. Chairman Annan inspired conference attendees to continue working towards positive change in the communities we serve.
On Wednesday, February 24, 2016, the program team at SL Lewis Elementary School held the first of its spring 2016 family engagement events. Entitled Dance into Spring with WINGS, the afternoon included a simulation of a day in the life at WINGS. Parents were welcomed with colorful decorations and a buffet dinner!
It's a Happy New Year, indeed!
On January 12 and 13, 2016, members of WINGS Atlanta's leadership team attended the first classes of a two-year leadership development program called LEADING FOR IMPACT, presented by Bridgespan.
Leading for Impact® helps ambitious nonprofits pursue strategic opportunities and build capacity to improve their performance over time. The program has two core components:
- Customized, team-led projects: With coaching support, the executive team of each participating nonprofit completes two customized projects addressing strategic questions facing their organization
- Executive team development: Each executive team also receives training in strategic management concepts and tools through a series of day-long workshops. Participating organizations receive support for two years, including coaching to executive teams as they apply new management tools and approaches within their organization.
During the program, Bridgespan works closely with each Executive Director and their team to understand the organization’s priorities and opportunities to achieve greater results. With Bridgespan support, teams complete two projects designed to address those priorities. Each project lasts approximately six months and may focus on questions of strategy, organization, funding, or leadership development—depending on the nonprofit’s particular situation.
Executive teams are composed of individual experts with diverse experiences and skills. While this diversity makes a team strong, successful executive teams share common, strategic goals and approaches to organizational leadership. During the first six months of the program, Leading for Impact builds this shared foundation through a monthly series of classroom-based workshops exploring the core elements of effective strategy and organization management. The sessions are designed to be highly interactive, emphasizing the application of concepts and tools to each team’s opportunities.
Other nonprofits in this year's cohort include CHRIS Kids, Communities in Schools of Atlanta, Future Foundation, Georgia Court Appointed Special Advocates, Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, The Kindezi Schools, and Sheltering Arms Early Education & Family Centers. We are thrilled to be in such great company!
On Thursday, December 17, join us for some old fashioned family fun at Skate Towne!
5570 Old National Hwy, College Park, GA 30349 from 5:30 to 7:30pm
Just $10 gets you admission, skate rental, popcorn, a drink, and cake!
WINGS is fortunate to have many supporters - governmental agencies, private foundations, corporations, and individuals. Last week, WINGS Atlanta received a grant award from Kars4Kids. They also interviewed WINGS Atlanta's Development Associate Barbra Buoy, who shared a wealth of wisdom.
Per the Kars4Kids website, "We invest in children because they are our future. That may sound cliché but it’s undeniably true. Our mission is to give children the opportunities and support they need to develop into productive members of their communities. Mentorship is the heart of all of our programs. We surround our youth with a solid network of always-available mentors who become involved in all the major aspects of the children’s lives. Because family and community have such a significant impact on a child’s life and growth, we take a big-picture, inclusive approach to achieve our goal. Our programs include educational services, youth mentorship and development, community and family outreach and cultural events. With summer camps and extracurricular programs, holiday retreats and educational resources, we are there for our children throughout the year."