Girls’ School now entrepreneurial

Atlanta Girls’ School will launch the Sara Blakely Academy of Entrepreneurship this fall as part of a $50,000 grant from the Sara Blakely Foundation, founded and named for the Atlanta woman who invented body-slimming Spanx hosiery.

The program will combine fundamentals of economics with an entrepreneurship curriculum that will prepare Atlanta Girls’ School students to write and defend a viable business plan. Students will compete for venture capital, with an award of up to $1,000 possible.

The finalists will make presentations to Blakely, who will select the winner of the Sara Blakely Entrepreneurship Academy award.

Field trips, simulations and guest speakers, including local and national female business leaders, will enhance the experience for Atlanta Girls’ School students.

Joan King, a middle and upper school teacher at Atlanta Girls’ School, will teach the course. King has a 20-year background in business and technology and was a senior partner at consulting firm Accenture.

The Sara Blakely Foundation grant also includes tuition scholarship dollars to serve the school’s commitment to socioeconomic diversity.

“By finding the future female entrepreneurs and leaders of the world and giving them the leg up they need to succeed, we believe we can elevate the status of women globally,” Blakely said. “We applaud Atlanta Girls’ School for empowering and educating young women to be leaders.”

Gates Millennium Scholars named

Four students at North Atlanta High School in Buckhead are among 20 Atlanta Public Schools students named by the United Negro College Fund as 2009 Gates Millennium Scholarships.

The North Atlanta recipients are Malika Begum, Bakhtawar Mazhar, Evangeline McDonald and Elyas Munye. They are among 1,000 students from poor families across the nation who were awarded the scholarships, which they can use at any college or university.

Among Atlanta public high schools, only Douglass High School, with six, had more Gates scholars than North Atlanta did.

The amount of the award varies from student to student, depending on financial need after other college aid and scholarships. Gates Millennium Scholars have an average college graduation rate of 80 percent, higher than the college graduation rate of all students and of low-income students.

Scholastic honors Epstein sixth-grader

Ilana Ander, a sixth-grader at The Epstein School, was one of five winners nationwide in Scholastic’s Perfect Teen Book Club Contest.

Ilana, who is in Terri Jacobson’s language arts class, provided useful feedback to Scholastic for ways to improve its book club to draw new readers. In addition to national recognition for her essay, Ilana won an iPod Nano.

“Free choice reading is critical in developing a nation of literate adolescents,” Jacobson said. “When students have choice over what they read, they learn that literature is not only about an assessment at the end, but also about loving literature for the sake of the words themselves. Scholastic provides this opportunity to students around the country.”

Home raffle to help Solidarity School

A homebuilder has donated a luxury home in Dahlonega for a raffle to benefit the Solidarity School.

The Sandy Springs school, largely financed by donations, offers a Catholic preschool education to children who otherwise couldn’t afford it and starts them on the path to English fluency. The school serves in a heavily Hispanic, immigrant population.

Beecham Builders is developing Montaluce Winery & Estates, designed by Buckhead-based Harrison Design Associates. To gain publicity for the project and to help the Solidarity School, Beecham decided to donate a house for the school to raffle off.

The $595,000 house overlooks the vineyards and comes with in $100,000 in cash to help pay the taxes.

Tickets for the raffle are $50 and can be purchased online at Tickets will be on sale through July 5.

Atlanta International completes IB continuum

Buckhead’s Atlanta International School is the first school in Georgia authorized to deliver all three International Baccalaureate (IB) programs, offering a coherent sequence of international education to students ages 3 to 19.

An IB World School since it was authorized in 1992 to deliver the IB Diploma Program to students ages 16 to 19, the school later received approval to offer the IB Primary Years Program, designed for students ages 3 to 12. This year, the Atlanta International School was authorized to offer the IB Middle Years Program, developed for 11- to 16-year-olds.

The school now offers a full range of international education programs that focus on developing the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills students need for a globalizing world.

Buckhead students can follow the IB path in public schools, starting with any of the elementary schools that feed into Sutton Middle School and continuing through North Atlanta High School, but the private Atlanta International School is the only single Georgia school that offers the entire IB track from kindergarten through 12th grade and is one of only 10 in North America.