By Melanie Bliss, Inman Foundation board member and parent
When some of us imagine middle school, we picture dark years wedged between bright fun of elementary school and experiential learning of high school. However, a walk through Inman Middle is illuminating and surprising – there is brightness, fun, projects, and experiences. Energized students learn an array of subjects through state-of-the-art technology; every student has a dedicated Chromebook or laptop; and virtual reality technology allows excited students to explore the world. Moreover, teachers have additional certifications and training, enabling them to provide creative, cutting edge teaching strategies. A key partner in providing these tools and training has been the Inman Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports two key pillars of Inman’s strategic plan: technology and development.
The Foundation’s mission is to provide a stable, long-term funding source for the people, program, and technology that offer an exceptional learning environment. The Foundation builds infrastructure capacity to address physical and innovation needs of learning, largely through technology. Secondly, the Foundation funds teacher training, such as gifted certification and Google certification. The Foundation supports the Educational Advisory Foundation (EAF), which provides experienced tutors for in-school intensive instruction to students needing additional support. The EAF is a win-win for everyone as it assists teachers with staying on pace, lowers the student-teacher ratio, and participating students saw gains last year of 79% and 35% in their STAR reading and STAR math scores, respectively.
Inman Principal Dr. Kevin Maxwell and his staff consider themselves fortunate. Dr. Maxwell stated, “Inman Middle School is a special place that is thoughtful, caring, and student focused. Our highly skilled teachers stay current on research and Foundation funding permits them to keep their skills up-to-date and to acquire the latest in instructional quality, which is often not covered by APS.” Dr. Sparrow, a 7th grade life science teacher, stated she is “truly thankful for everything the foundation has done,” because when she started at Inman she needed classroom supplies and resources that were unavailable. She is also grateful for training she received at Georgia Tech that was made possible to her from a Foundation grant. Many teachers describe the confidence and excitement students feel when they meet with EAF tutors. “My kids absolutely love it,” said 6th grade teacher Ms. Lonza. The Foundation truly helps all students, regardless of age, grade, and ability.
The 2018-2019 school year was a record year as the Foundation raised over $125,000. Our goal for 2019-2020 is $150,000. We hope all parents will consider a generous donation, but take note – donations do not just come from Inman families! If you are a community resident or business owner, please consider making a tax-deductible donation, and check to see if your business will match. Be assured your donation directly impacts the academic success of young students at our neighborhood school, setting them up for future success. Furthermore, your donation fortifies Inman Middle as an exemplary institution where students desire to attend and highly qualified teachers aspire to work, upholding Inman’s solid reputation locally and state-wide. You can learn more at www.inmanfoundation.org, where you can easily make your donation. For those of you who have already donated, thank you!