Carter Associates Volunteer to Read to Students at Local Elementary School
On October 24, Carter associates volunteered at Garden Hills Elementary School and participated in Project for a Day, organized by Atlanta Partners for Education (a joint venture between the Metro Atlanta Chamber and Atlanta Public Schools). Carter’s associates read to every Kindergarten through 3rd grade class, focusing on careers and the importance of being prepared for the workforce. Each associate was asked to pick one of four books to share with the students, ranging from “What Will I Be?” by James Levin to “When I Grow Up” by Al Yankovic.
Many of the volunteers asked the children what they want to be when they grow up. Gil Patterson, Carter’s chief financial officer, recounts that “one 3rd grader said that she wanted to be a marine scientist because when she goes to the beach she always sees interesting things and she wants to know more about them. Plus, she has already decided to go to Georgia Tech!”
Carter’s volunteers all worked as partners, except for Cathy Brice, who went solo for her “show and tell” science experiment accompanying her book, “All About Things People Do”.
“The children and teachers were all very appreciative of our associates taking time out of their busy schedules to read to these children,” said Lauren Guilbeau, HR administrator. “Over half of the students at Garden Hills are minorities, with many not speaking English as their first language, so their curriculum focuses heavily on language and reading.”
Tommy Usher, Principal at Garden Hills Elementary, was very dynamic and passionate about the children. The ultimate goal of this event is to foster long-term partnerships between Atlanta Public Schools and the community, aimed at helping to prepare and encourage our students to stay in school, graduate and go on to become successful members of the workforce.
Everyone had a great time with the students and teachers at Garden Hill Elementary and was humbled by their kindness and gratitude. Below, Carter associates share their thoughts of the event:
Jacole Todd, HR Manager – “Although this was a great way to give back, I had no idea when I arrived at the school on Thursday morning that I would receive so much in return.”
Ceia White, Records Administrator – “The students learned how to raise their hands before telling the answer, and they were all very happy to receive “smiley face” stickers when they answered a question correctly. Their little faces just lit up when we placed a sticker on their shirts! There was a strong sense of excitement in their eyes and it touched my heart.”
Malloy Peterson, Senior Vice President of Advisory – “Most students answered that they wanted to be teachers, police officers, soccer players – we didn’t have one student who wanted a corporate job! They had lots of questions about what we did in the office. We enjoyed telling them what we loved about working in an office and building big buildings.”
Gil Patterson, Chief Financial Officer – “I enjoyed seeing the excitement of the children because they had a visitor in their class and their eagerness to interact with the readers. I think they saw that there are people outside of their parents and teachers that care about them.”
Marisa Winsky, Director of Marketing – “I was impressed with the school staff and leadership, they were all informed about the project and had done their homework on Carter. When I read to Mrs. Brooks’ 3rd grade classroom, the students showed me a banner they had created on mixed-use development – it had a Publix shopping center with green space for a park next to an apartment building showing people being able to walk. I was amazed that they knew what ‘mixed-use’ was!”
To see a full photo gallery of Carter’s associates at Garden Hills, click here.