For the third year, elected officials, educators, service providers and community partners poured into the Hickory Park Apartments community in support of its students. The annual effort led by Councilwoman Helen Willis brings much-needed resources to the area which has been plagued by violence and abuse .
“While our police officers are addressing the crime in the community, I am working with community partners to tackle some of the socio-economic factors at the root of the issue,” said Councilwoman Willis. “Children often act out and give up in school when they feel unsafe and unsupported at home. We want to reinforce that despite the data, these students are not destined for failure. No matter their hardships, they are not forgotten.”
Councilwoman Willis was joined by Mayor William “Bill” Edwards, School Board Member Kimberly Dove, Area Superintendent Dr. Gyimah Whitaker, State Representative Derrick Jackson, Commissioner Marvin Arrington, Jr. and the principals and teachers from Seaborn Lee Elementary and Camp Creek Middle, among others. Several city departments and community partners set up booths to provide resources and services, including Comcast, Simply Produce, South Fulton’s police and fire departments, Care Source, the Marquis Grissom Baseball Association and more.
Students received backpacks, free lunch, bags of fresh fruit from Simply Produce and more. Sponsors onsite also offered free haircuts and school photos. Nearly $6,000 in cash was raised to produce the event. GFL Environmental Inc., formerly Waste Industries, was one of several organizations onsite to donate backpacks and other resources.
Councilwoman Willis, Mayor Edwards, Police Chief Keith Meadows and more all offered encouraging words to the students and the parents. According to School Board Member Kimberly Dove, the annual event is having a strong impact.
“We are excited that our city leaders like Councilwoman Willis have been able to partner with Hickory Park and Fulton County Schools,” she said. “These types of outreach activities help reduce absenteeism and behavior problems, and lessen the financial burden on families.”
“Most importantly our families are developing positive relationships with elected officials at the local, district, county and state levels,” she continued.
All Fulton County Schools students will head back into the classroom on Monday, August 12.