Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education has taken that symbol and established a "bus route" into communities and classrooms all over Georgia, lifting up and celebrating success in education. GPEE reports in their "rider's guide" that in 15 years, more than 1,750 riders have participated in these Bus Trips, making almost 260 stops in more than 120 school systems and communities, covering a total distance of more than 24,000 miles.
Fall, 2008, two buses, with riders from classroom teachers, administrators, pre-service students along with business and community leaders set out to discover what Georgia schools need to do provide "top-notch educational opportunities for all students". Under the banner of Strengthening the Pipeline to Graduation, the 16th Annual Bus Trip Across Georgia took off again. The North Route included stops at Central Education Center (Newnan), 12 for Life/Southwire/Carroll County Schools (Carrollton), Advanced Academy of Georgia (Carrollton), Marietta High School (Marietta), Pickens County Middle School (Jasper), D. Scott Hudgens, Jr. Early Learning Center (Lawrenceville) and East Jackson Elementary School (Commerce). The South Route included stops at Huntington Middle School (Warner Robins), Schley Middle/High School (Ellaville), International Studies Elementary Charter School (Albany), Funston Elementary School (Funston), Hand-In-Hand Primary School (Thomasville) and Lowndes High School (Valdosta).
Jackie Parker, Vice President, Global Inclusion and Diversity, Corporate Philanthropy at Newell Rubbermaid served as Chair for the North trip.
Julie C. Smith, Director, External Affairs for Verizon was the Chair for the South Trip.
Now is the time to think about Georgia schools and programs that are working hard and being successful at meeting the education needs of all the students. Is there a best practice in your school or a story of outstanding community support that would be helpful to share with others? Nominate your school for the 17th Annual Bus Trip Across Georgia. Wednesday, March 25, 2009 is the deadline for returning nomination forms to GPEE.