To celebrate the one year anniversary, Delta employees who served as Atlanta Public Schools Reading Buddies throughout year enjoyed a special Appreciation Luncheon inside the Boeing 747 exhibit at the Delta Flight Museum on July 24, with Delta President Glen Hauenstein, APS Superintendent Dr. Meria Carstarphen, Dobbs Elementary Principal Dr. Carnita West and Hutchinson Elementary Principal Dr. Shaunta Broadway.
One year ago, Delta entered into a five-year partnership with APS to help improve the quality of education and literacy, for the next generation of Delta employees and customers in the local area. The partnership has already made a big impact on the lives of the students at Dobbs and Hutchinson near Delta's headquarters and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Delta employees have stepped up and helped out by becoming Reading Buddies, providing tutoring, vision screening services and glasses, donating books, school supplies and coats, as well as hosting fun activities on special holidays.
Volunteers have also given much needed funds to Atlanta Partners for Education — a joint nonprofit between APS and the Metro Atlanta Chamber — through the Matching Gifts to Education program. The donations were matched by The Delta Air Lines Foundation that recently contributed $300,000 to fund four full-time literacy instructors — two at each school — to augment their efforts to improve student literacy rates, which will lead to higher graduation rates and better economic prospects for these deserving kids. Last year Delta employees contributed $350,000 in the initial phase of the partnership.
Hauenstein presented a check for $300,000 to Dr. Carstarphen and the two school principals at the Luncheon.
"Our partnership with APS began one year ago at a rally in the Delta Flight Museum, and we are truly proud of the way Delta employees have given of themselves to help the students of Dobbs and Hutchinson Elementary. These schools are in our backyard and we need to ensure that we take care of these students who could one day be our customers and employees," said Hauenstein. "Giving back to the communities where we live, work and serve is core to our culture at Delta, and investing in education is a key part of that effort. Together Delta and APS are making a difference. "
Hutchinson first grader Sophia Gutierrez spoke at the Luncheon wearing the glasses provided by a Delta funded Vision Screening program. She thanked her Delta Reading Buddy Heather Johnson from Cargo Marketing, for helping her learn to read and for spending time with her.
"On behalf of Atlanta Public Schools, I want every Delta Air Lines employee to know how meaningful their gifts of time and treasure are making a positive impact on our students at Dobbs and Hutchinson Elementary Schools, leading them to achieve choice-filled lives they deserve," said Dr. Carstarphen. "We are fortunate to have a hometown airline who is committed to Atlanta's children."