College Tour for Seniors - Gwinnett Technical College

Follow-up note:

The Gwinnett Technical College Field Trip took place on March 19, 2019.  We took 40 students to visit the campus. The students enjoyed a great tour of the college and saw first hand all the degree and certificate programs that are offered.  At the end of the tour, students were given the opportunity to apply to the college free of charge.  We had 15 of the 40 students apply.

Thank you so much for the opportunity!  This gave students that have a minimum GPA and felt like they have no chance of attending any type of college an chance to feel successful and able to better their education for employment.

Therese Owens, College Career Coordinator - Rockdale County High School


Original project description:

Students with a low Grade Point Average often feel as though there is nothing for them after graduation.  I want to provide for them an opportunity to visit a technical college and see all the programs that are available to them. There are at the least 12 programs available to students at little or no cost. Many of these students’ parents are not able to afford tuition and housing, and are not able to take their student to visit.  I have been talking with the students to help them understand that going to a technical college is just as advantageous as a 4 year college and university. They can earn just as much or in some cases more than a person with a 4 year degree. We will always be in need of construction workers, mechanics, plumbers, hair dressers, health care workers, manufacturing, and childcare. Many of these professions tie back in to one of Georgia's largest industries, Film and Movie Production. I want each and every one of our students feel and know that they can and will be successful.

Project:  Weird Science!

Nancy Turner, Lorraine Elementary - Science Lab

Project goal:  $245

Goal met 1/31/19 — many thanks to our community partners!

Talk about weird science! Imagine dissecting owl pellets! What are owl pellets you ask? They are regurgitated fur, bones, and teeth that owls can not digest. By dissecting the owl pellets with tweezers in the science lab, students discover what sorts of prey that owls consume, by identifying and reconstructing the skeletons of the prey. This exciting hands-on lab experience enables the students to engage in real-world scientific investigations to learn about food chains and food webs within an ecosystem.

4th and 5th Grade Ukulele Project

Jenelle Freeman, J. H. House Elementary - Music

GOAL - $526

Goal met 1/31/19 — Many thanks to our community partners!

Last year, I created a beginner program for 4th and 5th graders utilizing the about a dozen ukuleles in our classroom.  The kids LOVED it so much!  This year, we want to take the ukulele project to the next level by ensuring that each student has their own in-class ukulele and lessons/resources through a program called Rainbow Ukulele.

Learning an instrument teaches so many important skills: the importance of practice, pacing, coordination, a sense of accomplishment, an appreciation for music of all kinds, cooperation, and reading.

Thank you to the 7th Annual Teen Leadership Summit Sponsors!

Over 320 students attended the event on November 10, 2018 at Rockdale Career Academy!

 Today’s Leaders Support Tomorrow’s Leaders

Project:  Quick Snaps to Last a Lifetime

Mary Allen, J. H. House Elementary - 5th grade

Funding goal:  $1,000

update:  goal MET!  Many thanks to all who helped fund this project!

Our 5th grade students are headed to Rock Eagle for a multi-day trip in March, 2018. We are all very excited! This is a field trip free from electronics, such as cell phones, so we want to provide the students with disposable cameras to help capture their memories of this once in a lifetime experience!  Our funding goal will provide for the film developing cost as well as the purchase of (50) 27-exposure disposable cameras.

Empty Bowls Annual Event

Katy King, Visual Arts, General Ray Davis Middle School

This project is fully funded!

Funding Goal:  $500

Our school would like to continue to assist the Rockdale Emergency Relief Fund & Food Pantry to stock its shelves for in-need families in our community.  We get every staff member and student involved in our annual Empty Bowls Dinner where a simple meal of soup and bread is served in exchange for a cash and/or non-perishable food donation.  Students create hundreds of ceramic bowls for the event. The bowls are handed out to attendees as a symbolic reminder of the many who struggle with hunger, often having empty bowls.  All funds and non-perishable food items collected at the event are donated to Rockdale Emergency Relief and Food Pantry.  It is our hope to raise awareness of the hunger problems in our community and to get everyone under our school roof to come together to make a difference. Food insecurity is a growing issue today affecting many families in Rockdale County. 

All funds donated were used to purchase clay and glazes to create the hand made ceramic bowls for our annual event.

THE 8TH ANNUAL EMPTY BOWLS FUNDRAISER WAS HELD ON FEBRUARY 12, 2019 AT DAVIS MIDDLE raising $1,200 for rockdale emergency relief!

The 7th Annual Empty Bowls Dinner was held on February 15, 2018 raising $1,000 for Rockdale Emergency Relief!

Project: DIY Electronics for Kids

Diana Kennen, Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology (9th grade STEM Class)

Project Goal: $900

$900 has been donated...another fully funded project!

The purpose of this project is to obtain 10 Raspberry Pi 2 Starter sets for use in my 9th grade STEM course.  Raspberry Pi is a low cost, small computer that can be plugged into a monitor or TV and uses a normal keyboard or mouse.  It allows students to explore computer programming and electronics in a safe and engaging environment.  This project would serve approximately 100 students and can be re-used for subsequent school years.  Students will use these microcontrollers and accompanying components in a variety of projects designed to help them learn about engineering, programming, electronics, and robotics.  Students will engage in the engineering design process to solve novel problems using the Raspberry Pi 2 system and a variety of sensors which detect temperature, motion, or distance.  Students will write code for the microcontroller in the Python programming language.

2017-18 Salem High School Choir Sponsorship

Sarah Benjamin, SHS Vocal Instructor

This project is fully funded!

funding Goal:  $475

funding deadline:  September 30, 2017

Our first annual choral expo here in Rockdale County is coming up and we are in immediate need of funding to cover music costs and the recent T-shirt purchase. We have ordered very simple T-shirts for both identity and school spirit for our singers.  They will be worn for UGA Day, the Choral Expo, casual school-spirit Fridays and the pops concert in May.

Many thanks to our community for making it possible to reach our goal by deadline!

Two SHS Students Advance to FBLA National Competition!

travel expenses for these outstanding students and teacher/sponsor to Anaheim, CA - June, 2017

Funding goal:  $6,000

fully funded!

Two students from the International Entertainment and Business Leadership Academy at Salem High School, senior Gradea Harris and junior Demetrious Sampson, competed at the national Future Business Leaders of America competition this summer.  Under the guidance of SHS Business Education teacher Karleta Sigman, Gradea won first place on the state level in Healthcare Administration, beating out 206 students. She previously placed fifth in the same category at the regional level.  Demetrious won second place in Impromptu Speaking, succeeding over 13 competitors at the state level. He previously won first place in Impromptu Speaking at regionals. 

These are the first RCPS students to advance to the national FBLA stage in more than 14 years! 

Project:  Outdoor solar charging station

Michael Zellous, Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology, 9-12 Math


This project is fully funded!

What if there was a way to distribute electricity to rural communities, and help answer the question for the growing need for widely distributed publicly accessible charging stations? Students at Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology will have the opportunity to gain the basic understanding of how a solar power charging station works. The project will consist of a 9v, 2w solar panel, a 5v, 2a voltage regulator, 2 x 100 ohm resistor, and a 4 pin USB A female connector to make one station. The concept of this project is for the students to integrate physics, math, and technology.  They would have to build a schematic, calculate the voltage, and test their theory to ensure that the station will perform safely without causing damage to any electrical devices. This idea benefits the students and the community. Several restaurants in the community could receive the portable station and, as the customers sit and eat, they could charge their cell phone when an outlet is not nearby. According to a recent U.N. report, 6 billion out of 7 billion people on earth have mobile phones.  Therefore the need for a solar power charging station could greatly improve quality of life in a rural communities by providing access to medical care and financial services, improving community safety, and enabling local business and commerce.

Many thanks to our community partner for your donation!

Project: Genetics of a Superhero

Tanya Hampton, (Program Challenge - Flat Shoals Elementary)

This project is FULLY FUNDED!

Project Goal: $230

Students will be genetic scientists who will look at characteristics of heroes. Students will look at DNA of plants and animals and mutations that can occur in nature. They will look at how mutations could come into play for superheroes and how they got their powers. They will evaluate what characteristics and powers are needed to create a team of superheroes to save the world from terrorism today. Each team will create a superhero directory showcasing their team and its powers to help in the defense against terrorism.

Project: Scholastic News Magazine

Lindy Donahue, JH House Elementary (2nd Grade)

Project Goal: $109

This project is fully funded. Many thanks to the sponsor!

I would like to provide each of my students with a monthly subscription to the Scholastic News Magazine. Each month, a magazine with quality non-fiction news articles that are aligned to our state standards will be delivered to the school. These articles will be a wonderful addition to our classroom learning. The cost is $4.95 per student for an entire year's worth of articles. Thank you!

Project: Calling all Labels!

Anna Burdett, C.J. Hicks Elementary (PK-5 Media Center)

Project Goal: $250

This project is fully funded.  Many thanks to our community partner!

Have you ever shelved books in a library?  If so, you will quickly recognize the value of this project.  Vertically-oriented call numbers allow for easy identification and efficient placement of titles.  Speeding the process by which books get back on the shelf allows for students to find books quicker!

Funds are needed to purchase a Brother PT-D400VP Desktop Labeler and Laminated Label Tape in order to quickly and efficiently replace call number labels on library books.  The purchase of this device would allow for school library books to have call numbers applied vertically on the spine (allowing for quick identification by staff and students).  Currently, replacing call numbers is a time intensive job that delays books from being placed quickly on the shelves.

Project: A Trip to the Zoo

Claudia Trimaldi, Heritage High School (Special Education 9-12)

This project is fully funded!

Project Goal: $580

My students are the best. Seriously. They are excited, curious and love to learn. Like most students with special needs they learn best through hands on experiences and benefit greatly from learning things outside of the classroom. This semester we have been learning about Land Animals and they are so excited to take a trip to the Atlanta Zoo. For some of these students it will be the first time they have been to a zoo. For many of them this will be the first time they have been into Atlanta! They have worked hard to learn the material in hopes that the reward will be an awesome field trip to see, in real life, many of the animals we have studied. Unfortunately, that trip is proving to be costly. We have to pay for our tickets, a lift bus (to accommodate wheel chairs), the driver and mileage. All those expenses add up quickly and even with the teachers pitching in, many of our students cannot afford to go. We are asking for donations to help offset (or in a perfect world cover!) the costs of sending our students to the zoo.

thank you for helping us reach our goal!

Project: Learning Games for Struggling Readers

Ms. Mask (grades K-1), Pine Street Elementary

Project Goal: $392.00


My students need fun and engaging phonics centers to practice those tricky phonics sounds and engaging sight word games to master those first 220 sight words. They need Phonemic Awareness Instant Learning Centers, Roll & Read Phonics Games, and Learning Sight-Words Activity Chest.

My Students

Do you remember how proud you were when you read your first book? My students have not yet achieved that milestone - but my dream is for them to become lifelong readers. My students struggle to retain information from day to day but with fun centers, I know that can change!

I am an intervention teacher in a high poverty school with a heavy minority and Hispanic population.

I work with the most amazing group of kids. They are sweet; they are curious; they want to do well in school; they want to read, but for them reading is not coming easily. For a lot of my students, English is a second language; therefore, the letter sounds within words are not commonplace for them. Many of my students have no one that reads to them at home or helps them with their homework. The kids are excited about school and learning; many of them just don't get the support at home that they need to be successful at school. My school is full of the most creative and dedicated teachers that you can cram into one building and the one common thread among everyone is their love for the children, and their desire to see them be successful.

With the phonics and sight word centers, my students will able to manipulate the sounds within words (phonemes) as well as look at the colorful pictures (which really helps those second language learners). I plan to use the centers daily in small teacher led groups and for independent practice. These will be the building blocks of reading readiness with my kindergarten and first grade students.

They are struggling, but they want to learn. The more fun that I can make the learning - the easier it will be for them! My dream for all of my students is that they become fluent readers who not only read for information, but also read for pleasure. Can you imagine your life without a good book? Or worse yet, can you imagine not being able to read at all?


Project: Make A Difference - Phase One and Phase Two

Phase One was fully funded 2/8/16; Phase Two was fully funded 5/3/16

Mrs. Jones’ 3rd Grade Program Challenge Class at Flat Shoals Elementary

Project Goal: $600

Many thanks to the sponsors of both phases of this project.

About the project:  Mrs. Jones’ third grade students are getting involved and learning to make a difference in their local community.  Their project is to research the impact of $100 on a local non-profit organization and to compete to see which of the six groups can purchase the most goods to then donate to a local organization.  Guest speakers from Rockdale Emergency Relief Fund, Phoenix Pass, and Walking Home Together Animal Shelter will help them learn about each program and the impact of their donation.  The students are also researching the needs of these organizations and brainstorming ideas and ways to help.  Students will research and compare prices and use coupons to make the most of their money.  Guest speakers will also introduce them to the basics of grant writing.    The students are very excited about this class project and being able to help others!

Why donate?  Your donation will not only help these students learn about the importance of community service, but it will ultimately help a local non-profit organization as well!

Project: Special Needs Student Dance

Carol Wilson, Heritage High School (Special Needs Students, Senior Interact Club)

This project is fully funded.

The HHS Senior Interact Club students started in January, 2016 with an effort to do something for the special needs students here at Heritage. They raised approximately $400! 

We asked for help from the community to finish funding this dance for 170 special needs students and their parents. We needed help with decorations and refreshments.  We didn't have all the resources, but we did have a large group of Senior Interact Club students working hard to make this happen for the special needs students and their families. We wanted to honor the parents with this Mother/son Father/daughter dance.

Many thanks to our community partners for your contributions!

Project: Fiber Optic for the future

Rockdale Career Academy (grades 11-12, Networking - MTA: NF and Cisco)

Project Goal met!

We would like to purchase four fiber optic termination kits, multiple fiber terminators, and 2,000 ft. of fiber optic cable. We will use this to provide students with hands-on training for the growing industries /careers involved with fiber optics.

Helping our students with this equipment will allow a local pool of fiber capable installers. Preferable for local businesses who deal with communications equipment, we could provide trained personnel for Work-based learning opportunities where students bring skill and experience to the business.

Typically, this unit of study is too small to account the needed supplies in one year's Networking supply budget because it is a very small domain to student certification.  But considering Atlanta’s metropolitan fiber network expansions and companies upgrading fiber infrastructures, this in itself can prepare students to enter the workforce. We will use the students’ made cable runs to connect high internet/network access with fiber (EMI/RFI) lines versus their copper lines (cat6) currently in place. This new equipment will provide hands-on training over a purpose that’s beneficial to our academy. With Atlanta being the South’s “Silicon Valley”, adding this talent to our students in IT, Construction, and Electronics will give them an extra edge.