Encouraging Clayton’s kids starting “Day One”

After the year Clayton County Public Schools, its children, parents and residents have endured, this particular first day of school will truly be a fresh start for all.

For the past six years, the “Day One” program has recruited volunteers, parents and teachers to welcome students on their first day of class. Complementing its “Celebration of Learning” theme, this event will also serve as a kick-off to acquire volunteers for various needs throughout the school year.

Day One’s success depends solely upon recruiting volunteers. “We need parents and the community to be a part of our students’ lives because it lets them know that their community cares about them and wants them to be successful,” says Day One Coordinator Rhonda Burnough. Over 800 participated in 2008, and the goal is to attain 1,000 volunteers for 2009.

Volunteering will only take about one hour of your time. You are needed to greet students with a smile, offer some encouraging words for the upcoming school year and give them a token. Each school will provide volunteers with a bag breakfast, a certificate of service and a letter for their employer.

“Through this demonstration of community support for our students, Clayton County is sending an important message that learning is a key to a successful future,” adds Superintendent Edmond Heatley. “It is my hope that this will serve as a springboard for Clayton’s citizens to become active volunteers in our schools. Working together, we can do great things for our children.”

The first day of school is next Monday, Aug. 10, and volunteer start times are as follows: elementary school at 7 AM; middle school at 8 AM; and high school at 7 AM.. Please contact Burnough at rburnough@clayton.k12.ga.us or 770-473-2660 to sign up.

If you have experienced Day One in any capacity, please share your thoughts.

In addition, bring your family out for Clayton’s very own “Back To School Bash” with tons of inflatables, train rides, food and fun on Saturday, Aug.8, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the old Clayton County Courthouse. Chick-fil-A will sell their delicious chicken sandwiches and donate all proceeds directly to CCPS.

Support CCPS at this event by donating school supplies such as wide-ruled notebook paper (in packs); 8 1/2 x 11 spiral bound notebooks; No. 2 pencils (in packs); or 16-count crayon packs. Receive a FREE Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich coupon in exchange for your donation, redeemable at any Chick-fil-A, Truett’s Grill or Dwarf House location in Clayton.


31 comments Add your comment


August 3rd, 2009
8:32 am

Good ol’ Chick Fil A. You can count on that organization to do good. Mr. Cathy has put his money where his mouth is and always has.
School is the most important thing children do. Too often their parents do not put it first. As a community we can fill in the gaps and make it better for all.

Black Rain

August 3rd, 2009
9:59 am

First Day – volunteering is great. We need also to encourage our parents to volunteeer throughout the school year. Parents involvement and participation in their childrens schools is so important. A few hours – once a quarter by all parents is doable and would help tremendously in the functioning of our schools as places of learning and not just child warehousing.

Sgt Rock

August 3rd, 2009
11:50 am

Black Rain is correct. First Day is a great way kick off the school year BUT every day of the school year needs volunteers. Dropping by the classroom a few hours a quarter helps tremendously. Coordinating with the school, any parent or grandparent would be welcomed coming to read a book to the class, assisting during a lesson, helping in the library or assisting a teacher to put together handouts. Little things can mean a lot throughout the entire school year. A university degree is the last thing required. Interest in the classroom and bettering the schools is the only pre-requisite.

What you deserve

August 3rd, 2009
9:12 pm

First Day; a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Not at all because of the well intentioned efforts of those who volunteer, notwithstanding those whose only purpose in volunteering is to provide a photo op to further their own political ambition.

It signifies nothing, because still, this board, comprised of current and former teachers who know better, has done nothing to address discipline in a meaningful way that will provide direct, tangible support to the classroom teacher. Thus the hope of the first day, quickly gives way to the reality of the first week, the first month, and eventually, the substandard results of yet another year.

And yet, there is no consensus effort on the community’s part to hold the board accountable for its unwillingness to address what may be the biggest single dysfunction in CCPS. Until that day comes, despite the well meaning efforts of individuals on events like First Day, the community as a whole will continue to get the school system it fully and richly deserves.

Concerned Volunteer

August 3rd, 2009
9:13 pm

Please come out to welcome all the children back to school. It is “Paramount” that we show genuine support. The kids need all they can get; however, you won’t see any of the plutocrats that took accreditation there. They owe the kids 44M in educational funding.

Advocate for Children

August 3rd, 2009
10:43 pm

I pariticipated in the first Day One activity and also served on the planning committee when Barbara Pulliam introduced the concept. At the planning meeting, I and another volunteer from RBC suggested to the superintendent that the district identify some achievable goals for the initiative. For instance, on Day One, make certain that as many children as possible are registered for school; on Day One, make certain that counselors have prepared and distributed/mailed schedules to students; make sure that bus numbers and times have been mailed home; etc. In other words, when school starts on Day One, have students in class ready to learn, at least prepared to do some work. Don’t allow it to be an administrative day, where children’s attitudes are – “we don’t do anything the first week of school.” The SACS Committee pointed out in their report that much of what Clayton Schools does is not aligned with any goals — they tend to simply do something so they can say they made an effort. Attracting volunteers is excellent, but the program needs some substance. Hire somebody to do outreach who actually knows how to do it. By the way, I volunteered at Riverdale Middle School, which was not the school my child attended. My husband was at my child’s school, which gave me an opportunity to support other students.


August 4th, 2009
5:34 pm

Sorry folks meant to post this much earlier been a busy day. Hope someone can attend!

On August 4, 2009, Target ( Mount Zion) is a participating sponsor for the 26th Annual National Night Out event.

The focus of the event is “Building Safer and Better Neighborhoods Through Community Involvement”

Target will offer its support to local law enforcement by hosting this
event in their parking lot.

Time: 6pm- 8:30pm

Tendered Currency

August 4th, 2009
9:40 pm

Please help welcome the kids back to school. Please join the “First Day” activities! Show them how much the community supports them. We want them to grow up to much wiser than ourselves. You can bet the chocolate Pillsbury Doughboy will be there. The kids must learn to stand for something. Unlike the Clayton Delegation that were so weak that they sold accreditation to the governor for supposed statewide legislation; that failed badly. They showed their weakness then; now governor is exploiting them for “Unethical” tax evasion! What losers. The Pillsbury Doughboy cost the kids 44M.

Concerned Volunteer

August 4th, 2009
9:44 pm

Advocate for Children, STOP IT! Everyone know now that the SACS report was a sham and a farce! Our best hope is that it stays out of court!


August 4th, 2009
10:02 pm

Please help welcome the kids back to school. Please join the “First Day” activities! Show them how much the community supports them. The kids will need it because Teachers are losing some serious money. Breaking New!! New superintendent Edmond Heatley proposed the furlough days last week to meet Gov. Sonny Perdue’s additional 3 percent cut in state funding. The school district is currently operating on a $13.9 million budget deficit. Without the furloughs, the deficit would reach $20.6 million, White said. “We’re continuing to look at spending,” he said. “We’re doing as much as we can to find ways to reduce the budget.”School officials attribute the deficit to a decrease in state aid. The state slashed funding when the district lost 3,500 students following its accreditation loss during the 2008-2009 school year. The three furlough days mean a loss of about $500 for starting teachers and about $1,200 loss for teachers with 16 years’ experience, said Sid Chapman, president of the Clayton County Education Association. The furloughs are in addition to a reduction of about 200 teachers. The board also previously approved 10 furlough days – a 1.5 percent pay cut – for administrators. “We had layoffs and this,” said Chapman, who represents about 2,800 teachers. “It really hurts because we did not get any kind of raise this year.” Ole Sid Chapman should have thought about before he staged the coup on the last board. Remember Sid “Cause and Effect”.

Coming home to roost

August 5th, 2009
12:09 pm

Looks like the chicken have come home to roost, and taken a collective dump on the heads of Clayton GAE teachers.

Wonder how those Clayton GAE teachers are enjoying the new initiative named You Get Disrespected, and You Don’t Get Paid For It, But That’s OK, Because The All Important Administrators Were Protected?

You think teachers might be a tad upset that making some cuts to the top heavy administration wasn’t on the table, but taking away their pay was? Well GAE Clayton teachers what were you thinking? Were you thinking your organization, whose state president is a Clayton County administrator was going to advocate for your rights as a teacher, when the chips were down?

I see your leader Sid Chapman is whining about when it will all end? But did Sid Chapman use that opportunity to publicly address the boondoggle of administrative waste as a way to balance the budget so they wouldn’t have to balance it on your backs?

But this is what you choose Clayton County GAE teachers. You choose to let an organization whose president is a Clayton County administrator advocate for your rights as a teacher.

And now, when push comes to shove, there are no substantial cuts to the wasteful administrative positions you know exist, and in fact make your life harder because of the paperwork they generate to justify their existence.

No, you can rest assure their positions were protected, even if your pay, and the commitment to your contract, wasn’t.

How’s that working out for you?

pooty tang

August 5th, 2009
1:15 pm

trotter, is that you again?

Rev Whiskey

August 5th, 2009
3:08 pm

What’s a matter, Trotter. The teachers losing a little money cutting into the dues they pay you. Everyone is cutting back -no one is immune. Why did you cut N.H. pay at MACE when he lost his BOE seat? He had to be the least paid CEO in history. There are thousands out sitting on the unempolyment line who would would gladly change places with Clayton teachers.

Coming home to roost

August 5th, 2009
10:06 pm

In the rush to bash Trotter and MACE, the posters completely miss the point. Of course everyone is cutting back, and no one is immune. Who’s debating that?

The point is where the cuts were made, and how hard did the largest education organization in Clayton push for the cuts to be made in areas that would have a less drastic effect on children than taking away teacher’s preparation time? How hard did the largest education in Clayton fight for their teachers, which in this case would have been a direct benefit to children, and was that fight compromised by having to sympathize with administrative interests that help line their coffers?

No one, at least not anyone remotely educated on the issue, debates that there isn’t literally millions of dollars in administrative waste that could easily be cut from the budget without the classroom skipping a beat.

In fact, you can make a compelling case that it would benefit the classroom, as many of these programs are run by administrators who generate paperwork for the teacher, not to the benefit of the class, but to justify their existence.

But did Clayton GAE and Sid Chapman take a public stand about that for their teachers? I sure didn’t see any statement to that fact in the AJC, did you? So was there a real stand for teachers, or just take a pseudo stand? And do you think the fact that the state GAE president is a Clayton County administrator might have anything to do with the fact that administrative layers of bureaucracy seem to have been protected, even as teacher pay was not?

And how is your child best served? By your child having teacher who hasn’t had their pay and morale sapped right before the beginning of the school year, or by your child having a bureaucrat’s job being protected, even if that job has no discernible effect on your child’s classroom learning environment?

Or were you too busy bashing MACE and Dr. Trotter to even think about what’s best for your child when it comes to what to cut in the school system?

Yes We Will

August 5th, 2009
10:53 pm

Rev Whiskey, do you mean the over 300-400 teachers that loss jobs because you and your made a calculated political error in helping the plutocrats and the man with pattern male baldness take accreditaiton causing a ripple/domino effect that destoryed the county. 300-400 teachers lost jobs, 3500 students left, businesses left, property taxes skyrocketed, school millage rates skyrocketed, home property value lowered. Only to see so-called one (1) illegal meeting and bickering is common place in the 50th ranked state in education in America. Have you ever wondered why we haven’t heard anything from big bad SACS about CRCT cheating in the metro and beyond and the over 55 illegal meetings that occured in Cobb. One word! Chauvinism, bottom line! You ought to be ashame, you will in the next election!


August 6th, 2009
8:54 am

What does any of that have to do with encouraging kids on the first day of school? I’m sorry teachers are losing their jobs and getting furloughed but they aren’t the only ones.

Is Eldrin A Pervert?

August 6th, 2009
9:27 am

I’m starting to think this man is just plain old perverted. How many of these alligations has this man had over the years?

pooty tang

August 6th, 2009
11:34 am

yall hired eldren.now you got to live with it.


August 6th, 2009
10:56 pm

Please come out and “GREET” the kids on “First Day”. The adults are overwhelmed them with “STUPIDITY” look at the County Chairman! The plutocrats put him there! Actually stating that charter schools don’t have reserves is incorrect. Perhaps this varies per state, but many charters are required through their charter agreement to budget for a certain percentage of reserves. Charter schools would be affected by budget cuts that concern per pupil revenues, or other state and federal funding. Charters are usually not affected when it comes to declining bond/mill revenues since they usually were not recipients to begin with. I’ve dealt with many students from private and charter schools who lack the social skills and tolerance to deal with peers of different color, race and socioeconomic background. That an “Educational Dilemma” SACS created!

Coming home to roost

August 7th, 2009
1:27 am

2,800 teachers in Clayton GAE, and not a single one can come on here and defend Clayton GAE’s unwillingness to publicly call for cuts to the administrative waste as an alternative to furloughs? Wonder how those 2,800 teachers feel about being furloughed, even though the school improvement specialists haven’t been? I hope that’s because the teachers in Clayton know that their promised salary is nowhere near as important to fight for as protecting administrative positions from cuts is.

Of course the fact that the state president of GAE wouldn’t have anything, anything to do with the fact that Clayton GAE didn’t make any public stand for teachers by demanding a close look be taking at the top heavy CCPS administration now could it? It’s just critics talking.

After all, your promised pay is clearly not the priority that protecting administrative bloat is, and it is very, very important not to listen to those who would suggest otherwise, and do not think for a minute that the fact that the state GAE president is a Clayton County administrator would ever, in the least, cause GAE any conflict of interest in supporting teachers. You’re smarter than to believe that, right Clayton GAE teachers?


August 7th, 2009
9:59 am

Hello Everyone!
Join me tonight as I launch the fall season of SynamonSays…What do you say? Tonight, Friday August 7 and every Friday at 8pm you can log on to http://www.newroadsvideo.com and become a part of our growing internet community. Topics for this evening include President Obama’s health care bill, the recent Gates, Crawley encounter, dismantling the school to prison pipeline and an initiative for young men in Clayton County. The show is interactive and allows the internet audience to be an active part of the show. Just log on and join the conversation. See you there!


August 7th, 2009
6:19 pm

“Coming home to roost”

I hear Chicago is ripe for people with your intelligence, and great for ‘organizers. Why don’t you take a hike there? After all, MACE is finished in Clayton County thank god!Trotter, Haynes, all of them. GONE BYE BYE!

First Hand

August 9th, 2009
1:17 pm

Please come out and support the kids! Even Heatley found out its a crime “Driving While Black” in Georgia, Clayton in particular!


August 10th, 2009
4:02 pm

What happened to my last post?


August 10th, 2009
4:06 pm

Let me try this again. Running a stop sign is illegal. The superintendent could have been given a warning, instead he was “detained”, photographed and fingerprinted. What do you say? Want to have thoughtful, rationale and pragmatic dialogue on this issue? email me at synamonsays@helloworld.com or sign onto http://www.newroadsvideo.com this Friday and every Friday at 8pm.


August 11th, 2009
2:36 pm

Well first things first The superintendent’s detainment the year is starting perfectly as usual,fits right in with the board.

a texan

August 12th, 2009
3:03 pm

i get it. if your black you get to run stop signs in georgia…..moron


August 13th, 2009
11:49 pm

it is amazing that the Forest Park police spend so much effort to harass a well dressed black man driving a nice truck – it wasn’t a problem for the fact he went thru a stop sign – it was the extreme measures they went thru afterwards — heaven knows the Po-Po should be out checking 70% of the residents of Forest Park for legal drivers license and car insurance and proof that they are even legally in this country – that should keep them busy

what the

August 19th, 2009
8:21 pm

Quote from new superintendent, “There is no teaching going on in this county and you can tell them I said so..” ok so he truly is clueless. CCPS has some dynamic teachers. Here we go again….

what the

August 19th, 2009
8:27 pm

Quote from CCPS new superintendent, “There is no teaching going on in this county and you can tell them I said so.” Could not be further from the truth. There are some dynamic teachers in CCPS. My God, here we go again… clueless.

what the

August 20th, 2009
5:47 am

Quote from CCPS new superintendent, “There is not teaching going on in this county and you can tell them I said so.” Could not be further from the truth. There are some dynamic teachers in CCPS. My God, here we go again… clueless.