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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Get Ready to Read

Imagine if every child in our community enters Kindergarten having been read to regularly by the most important teacher they will ever have - their parents.

In participating Georgia counties, each month, until age 5, a new book will be mailed directly to the registered child's home address. We are currently inBaldwin, Bibb, Brooks, Butts, Calhoun, Camden, Carroll, Catoosa, Charlton, Chatham, Chattooga,  Clarke, Clay, Colquitt, Coweta, Dade, Dawson, Dougherty, Effingham, Elbert, Fannin, Floyd, Forsyth, Franklin, Gilmer, Glascock, Glynn, Grady,GreeneHancock, Haralson, Hart, Harris, Heard, Henry, Houston,Jasper, Jones, Lamar, Lincoln, Lumpkin, Madison, McDuffie,McIntosh, Meriwether, Mitchell, Monroe, Morgan,

Oglethorpe, Pickens, Putnam, Seminole, Stephens, Taliaferro, Telfair, Thomas, Towns, Upson, Walker, Walton, Warren, Washington and White counties and we have 3 urban pilot programs functioning: College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center in Decatur; Kennedy Head Start Center in Atlanta; and Antioch AME Church in Stone Mountain.                                  


Children may receive up to a maximum of 60 books, depending on their age when they enter the program.



    For more information visit www.ferstfoundation.org 

    Provided by Consult With ME! Educational Consulting














    There is absolutely no cost (ever) to registered children! 
    Each child will receive one book monthly that is to be read to them by their parents or care givers, then placed in the specially designed bookends that will also be available.

    These books become the child's own to read over and over and perhaps pass down to their children.

    If your child lives in a participating community and is under the age of 5, fill out and return the registration form for each qualifying child or you can register online by clicking here .

    Thursday, May 21, 2009

    Parents and Counselors Give Teens Career Guidance

    High school students need direction on their career paths, and parents and counselors each play a key role. Learn how you can provide your teen with career guidance.

    "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Values, interests, skills, personality, aptitudes — these are all factors for teens when thinking about their future careers. At the high school level, career guidance involves three participants: parents, counselors and students themselves. But with the increasing caseloads of school counselors, parents must play a bigger role.

    Thinking about your child's future? Weigh the pros and cons of a college education.

    There are diverse career options for your teen, including technical education. Learn more about what these programs can offer.Things are going to change a lot between now and 2016. Check out this list of the ten fastest-growing careers for college graduates.

    Contact a personal educational consultant today at 877.294.8463 or visit www.Consultingwithme.com


    Monday, May 11, 2009



    Use an online EFC calculator to find out how much your family can be expected to pay for college. Freshman Action Plan >

    Reading helps prepare your child academically for college. Get reading suggestions from 101 Great Books. Sophomore Action Plan >

    Now is the time for your child to start looking for a summer job, internship or volunteer opportunity. Junior Action Plan >

    Your child should meet with her counselor to discuss which AP courses to take senior year. Senior Action Plan >

    For more information on Action Plans please sign up for Consult With ME! newsletter at www.consultingwithme.com

    Wednesday, March 4, 2009

    Consult With ME! Educational Consulting would like to congratulate Atlanta's Beverly Hall for being chosen as the National Superintendent of the Year

    MEDIA CONTACTS: - Dana Tofig, Georgia Department of Education, (404) 463-1487, dtofig@gadoe.org, (Twitter: GaDOEmedia)- Joe Manguno, Atlanta Public Schools, (404) 802-2829, jmanguno@atlantapublicschools.us

    February 20, 2009 -- Dr. Beverly Hall, the head of Atlanta Public Schools, was named National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) today. The announcement was made at AASA's national conference in San Francisco. State Superintendent of School Kathy Cox released the following statement upon hearing about Dr. Hall's award: "I want to congratulate my friend and colleague, Beverly Hall, on being named the National Superintendent of the Year. Dr. Hall's entire professional career has been dedicated to improving education for students in urban districts across the country and nowhere has that dedication been seen more clearly than over the past decade in Atlanta. Beverly is a change agent who does not back down from a challenge and is not afraid to be held accountable for the results. She has forged strong ties to the business community and has made improving education in the city of Atlanta a community effort, not just a school effort. Atlanta has seen significant gains in student achievement over the past 10 years and I know those gains will continue thanks to Dr. Hall's leadership and vision. It is also my hope she'll be around for years to come as, together, we seek to improve education for all students in Georgia. I look forward to celebrating with Dr. Hall in person!" Superintendent Cox noted that in the past two years, Georgia school leaders have won several awards, including the 2009 National High School Principal of the Year (Mark Wilson, Morgan County High School) and the 2008 National High School Principal of the Year (Molly Howard, Jeferson County High School). Additionally, Julie Hartline, of Campbell High School in Cobb County, is the 2009 National School Counselor of the Year.

    Consult With ME! Educational Consulting 877.294.8463 http://www.consultingwithme.com/

    AP Report: Georgia is 15th in Nation

    MEDIA CONTACT: - GaDOE Communications office, (404) 463-1487, dtofig@gadoe.org - Get GaDOE Media Updates on TwitterAP REPORT TO THE NATION

    February 4, 2009 -- Georgia is 15th in the nation when it comes to students who have success in Advanced Placement (AP) courses, according to a national study released today. The College Board's AP Report to the Nation shows that, in 2008, Georgia had the 15th highest percentage of high school seniors score a 3 or higher on at least one AP exam. The report also showed that the percentage of Georgia students taking AP classes is higher than the nation. "Georgia is a national leader in AP participation and success," said State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox. "More Georgia students than ever are challenging themselves with AP's rigorous coursework and are successfully mastering the material and passing the exams." Advanced Placement classes and exams are administered by the College Board, which also administers the SAT. AP classes offer rigorous college-level learning options to students in high school. Students who receive a 3, 4 or 5 on AP exams may receive college credit. The AP Report to the Nation looks at data for 2008 High School seniors. Among Georgia's public high school seniors in 2008: - 16.3 percent scored a 3 or higher on at least one AP exam during high school. That is higher than the national average of 15.2 percent. - The percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher on at least one AP exam grew by 1.2 percentage points, tied for 9th highest in the nation. - Just over 30 percent took at least one AP exam during high school, higher than the national average of 25 percent. AP Growth Among All Students Just over 50,000 Georgia students in all grades took at least one AP exam in 2007-2008, an increase of more than 16 percent from the previous year. Georgia's AP population continues to get more diverse as well, with more African-American and Hispanic students taking the rigorous classes. "Our schools and school systems recognize that one of the best ways to close the achievement gap is to challenge all students with rigorous work and high expectations," Superintendent Cox said. "The AP Report to the Nation makes it clear that our schools are doing just that. We have work left to be done, but we are making tremendous progress." During the 2007-2008 school year, more than 10,200 African-American public school students (all grades) took an AP exam. That's an increase of more than 18 percent from the previous year and represents more than 10 percent of all public school African-American test-takers nationwide. There were 2,651 Hispanic students (all grades) that took at least one AP exam in 2007-2008, an increase of more than 35 percent from the previous year. According to the AP Report to the Nation, among Georgia's high school seniors: - More than 22 percent of students who took an AP exam in 2007-2008 were African-American, an increase of more than two percentage points from the previous year. - 10.5 percent of Georgia's African-American high school seniors scored 3 or higher on at least one AP exam. That is third in the nation, and seven points higher than the national average. - About 5.5 percent of Georgia's AP test takers were Hispanic, an increase of more than one percentage point from the previous year and higher than Georgia's overall Hispanic student population (4.9 percent). State Efforts to Increase AP Participation The State of Georgia has undertaken many successful efforts to increase participation in AP programs and success on AP exams. Among the initiatives: - At the request of Governor Perdue and Superintendent Cox, the Legislature has approved money to pay for students to take one AP exam per year. Economically-disadvantaged students can have all of their AP exams paid for each year. - The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) has organized the distribution of AP Teacher Quality Training Grants. In the past three years, nearly 400 AP teachers have been trained through state grants. - The Georgia Virtual School continues to add AP classes, increasing access to students throughout the state, including those that might not otherwise be able to take an AP class. In 2007-2008, 679 students enrolled in 19 different AP courses through Georgia Virtual School. - The GaDOE has sponsored regional workshops for teachers of AP in the fall for the past two years. These workshops are led by master teachers of AP in Georgia high schools. To date, 1,067 AP teachers have participated in these content-specific workshops.

    For tutoring in AP Courses please contact Consult With ME! 877.294.8463 or visit us at http://www.consultingwithme.com

    Monday, January 19, 2009

    Barack Obama and Joe Biden's Plan for Education

    Early Childhood Education

    Zero to Five Plan: The Obama-Biden comprehensive "Zero to Five" plan will provide critical support to young children and their parents. Unlike other early childhood education plans, the Obama-Biden plan places key emphasis at early care and education for infants, which is essential for children to be ready to enter kindergarten. Obama and Biden will create Early Learning Challenge Grants to promote state "zero to five" efforts and help states move toward voluntary, universal pre-school.
    Expand Early Head Start and Head Start: Obama and Biden will quadruple Early Head Start, increase Head Start funding and improve quality for both.
    Affordable, High-Quality Child Care: Obama and Biden will also provide affordable and high-quality child care to ease the burden on working families.


    Reform No Child Left Behind: Obama and Biden will reform NCLB, which starts by funding the law. Obama and Biden believe teachers should not be forced to spend the academic year preparing students to fill in bubbles on standardized tests. He will improve the assessments used to track student progress to measure readiness for college and the workplace and improve student learning in a timely, individualized manner. Obama and Biden will also improve NCLB's accountability system so that we are supporting schools that need improvement, rather than punishing them.

    Support High-Quality Schools and Close Low-Performing Charter Schools: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will double funding for the Federal Charter School Program to support the creation of more successful charter schools. An Obama-Biden administration will provide this expanded charter school funding only to states that improve accountability for charter schools, allow for interventions in struggling charter schools and have a clear process for closing down chronically underperforming charter schools. An Obama-Biden administration will also prioritize supporting states that help the most successful charter schools to expand to serve more students.
    Make Math and Science Education a National Priority: Obama and Biden will recruit math and science degree graduates to the teaching profession and will support efforts to help these teachers learn from professionals in the field. They will also work to ensure that all children have access to a strong science curriculum at all grade levels.

    Address the Dropout Crisis: Obama and Biden will address the dropout crisis by passing his legislation to provide funding to school districts to invest in intervention strategies in middle school - strategies such as personal academic plans, teaching teams, parent involvement, mentoring, intensive reading and math instruction, and extended learning time.
    Expand High-Quality Afterschool Opportunities: Obama and Biden will double funding for the main federal support for afterschool programs, the 21st Century Learning Centers program, to serve one million more children.

    Support College Outreach Programs: Obama and Biden support outreach programs like GEAR UP, TRIO and Upward Bound to encourage more young people from low-income families to consider and prepare for college.
    Support College Credit Initiatives: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will create a national "Make College A Reality" initiative that has a bold goal to increase students taking AP or college-level classes nationwide 50 percent by 2016, and will build on Obama's bipartisan proposal in the U.S. Senate to provide grants for students seeking college level credit at community colleges if their school does not provide those resources.

    Support English Language Learners: Obama and Biden support transitional bilingual education and will help Limited English Proficient students get ahead by holding schools accountable for making sure these students complete school.

    Recruit, Prepare, Retain, and Reward America's Teachers
    Recruit Teachers: Obama and Biden will create new Teacher Service Scholarships that will cover four years of undergraduate or two years of graduate teacher education, including high-quality alternative programs for mid-career recruits in exchange for teaching for at least four years in a high-need field or location.

    Prepare Teachers: Obama and Biden will require all schools of education to be accredited. Obama and Biden will also create a voluntary national performance assessment so we can be sure that every new educator is trained and ready to walk into the classroom and start teaching effectively. Obama and Biden will also create Teacher Residency Programs that will supply 30,000 exceptionally well-prepared recruits to high-need schools.

    Retain Teachers: To support our teachers, the Obama-Biden plan will expand mentoring programs that pair experienced teachers with new recruits. They will also provide incentives to give teachers paid common planning time so they can collaborate to share best practices.
    Reward Teachers: Obama and Biden will promote new and innovative ways to increase teacher pay that are developed with teachers, not imposed on them. Districts will be able to design programs that reward accomplished educators who serve as a mentor to new teachers with a salary increase. Districts can reward teachers who work in underserved places like rural areas and inner cities. And if teachers consistently excel in the classroom, that work can be valued and rewarded as well.

    Higher Education
    Create the American Opportunity Tax Credit: Obama and Biden will make college affordable for all Americans by creating a new American Opportunity Tax Credit. This universal and fully refundable credit will ensure that the first $4,000 of a college education is completely free for most Americans, and will cover two-thirds the cost of tuition at the average public college or university and make community college tuition completely free for most students. Recipients of the credit will be required to conduct 100 hours of community service.

    Simplify the Application Process for Financial Aid: Obama and Biden will streamline the financial aid process by eliminating the current federal financial aid application and enabling families to apply simply by checking a box on their tax form, authorizing their tax information to be used, and eliminating the need for a separate application.

    Barack Obama's Record
    Record of Advocacy: Obama has been a leader on educational issues throughout his career. In the Illinois State Senate, Obama was a leader on early childhood education, helping create the state's Early Learning Council. In the U.S. Senate, Obama has been a leader in working to make college more affordable. His very first bill sought to increase the maximum Pell Grant award to $5,100. As a member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee, Obama helped pass legislation to achieve that goal in the recent improvements to the Higher Education Act. Obama has also introduced legislation to create Teacher Residency Programs and to increase federal support for summer learning opportunities.

    Contact Michelle Elliott DeShields at Consult with ME! Educational Consulting 877.294.8463

    Saturday, January 3, 2009

    Defying the Odds Featured at DeKalb Co. Public Library

    As I've discussed before "Defying the Odds" is a documentary that is very close to my heart. While working as as Education Project Manger at Georgia Public Broadcasting I was heavily involved in developing the Education Resource Guide for Teachers. Fresh out of graduate school with a master's degree in Guidance and School Counseling, I was able to include many counseling activites into the resource guide that regular classroom teachers can use with their students after viewing the documentary.
    I am elated to see that this awesome documentary developed by Pamela Roberts and the Educators Resource Guide being viewed and used by many.

    Here's the latest Update on "Defying the Odds"

    The DeKalb County Library System featured Defying the Odds this fall with screenings of the documentary at branch libraries throughout the system. The culminating activity of the series was a presentation by Pamela Roberts, producer of the award winning documentary. Pam and Videographer, Wayne Baumgardner, talked about their experiences following five students who were part of a larger group promised a college education by Merrill Lynch if these students graduated from High School.
    The documentary begins when the students are in the 10th grade and follows them through to their senior year in High School. The students, families and student mentor, Dr. Barbara Whitaker, all contribute to the stories.Laura Hauser, in the DeKalb County Public Library Literary Services program, organized the Defying the Odds series. She introduced the program, shared clips from the documentary then invited the audience to participate in an informal discussion of reactions to factors that that all students face as they journey towards a goal of high school graduation. Family support, parent-school relationships and access to technology were some of the main points of conversation.Defying the Odds first aired in 2002 and was awarded the National CINE Golden Eagle, The Best of Television (Society of Professional Journalists and first place for documentaries in The Green Eye Shade award. Producer Roberts provided a 2008 update on the lives of the 5 students featured in the documentary.

    GPB Education's Barbara O'Brien joined the discussion to share the Resource Guide for Educators. This companion document provides the Defying the Odds themes, risk factors for students, strategies for working with at-risk youth, models for making good decisions and much more.

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    Thursday, January 1, 2009

    Do You Need an Educational Consultant?

    Finding the right school, college or program can be a rewarding
    process, but for some families the experience is challenging,
    overwhelming and at times frustrating. Few decisions have as great
    an impact on a student. Families may find themselves at a loss
    to properly evaluate their options and make appropriate choices.
    Seeking the services of an independent educational consultant can be
    the wisest investment a family can make. And, the fees involved may
    be less than 3% of a four-year college tuition bill.
    Hiring an independent educational consultant can give families
    objective advice, access to reliable information, and the kind of
    individual attention necessary to make an informed decision.
    The reasons families hire independent educational consultants
    vary. Families considering a secondary school typically lack
    knowledge or familiarity with what the options are. In addition
    to traditional day schools, there are boarding schools, Learning
    Disability programs, and public charter schools. While a tremendous
    amount of information is available on the Internet, an independent
    educational consultant can provide qualitative analysis for the
    selection. Consultants have not only visited these schools, but
    undoubtedly have placed many students there. Consultants are also
    knowledgeable about the admission process and can advise families
    every step of the way.
    For families considering college, the main reason to hire an
    independent educational consultant is individualized attention. Most
    public school guidance counselors would like to assist students
    individually with the college process but they have too many
    students to offer much in the way of individual attention. And, they
    often have many more responsibilities than college counseling: They
    are responsible for scheduling as well as other social and emotional
    issues that face teenagers today. Independent consultants can take
    much of the stress out of the process and be an objective, third-party,
    helping a family through the process of transitioning from high
    school and living at home to going off to college and living away
    from home.
    Employing the services of an educational consultant may be the
    best investment families can make. Tapping into the knowledge and
    expertise of a consultant who has extensive experience to guide
    families in making this important decision can make the difference
    between a really good match and a less than successful experience.

    For more information visit Consult With ME! Educational Consulting at www.consultingwithme.com or call 877.294.8463