February 2021
RSVP for Good Apple: Amplified!

You’re not going to want to miss this year’s Good Apple: Amplified!
 
On April 23, 2021, at 6:00 p.m., musical guest Delfayeo Marsalis, guest speakers Ambassador Andrew Young, Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, and more will come together for the fundraising event of the season.

 
Sponsorships are still available. Register your support online or contact Thamiah Tutt at ttutt@gaappleseed.org.

This event will be live-streamed and open to the public. Closer to the event, we'll provide information on how you can "amplify" your experience by making a donation in return for a Good Apple: Amplified! celebration bag. We can't wait to see you there!
Representing Kids in Foster Care: Updated Resources

As part of Georgia Appleseed’s Tribunal Representation Project, lawyers across Georgia provide pro bono representation to children in foster care facing long-term suspension or expulsion. Exclusionary discipline can cause a lifetime of negative consequences. Without volunteer representation, youth often have no one to properly advocate for them and ensure their rights are respected.

The new 3rd edition of Representing Students in School Tribunals in Georgia provides pro bono attorneys with up-to-date tools they need to be powerful advocates for Georgia’s children.
 
Georgia Appleseed is especially grateful to the members of the Young Professionals Council for their contributions to this manual and the Tribunal Volunteer Lawyers Network. The manual also could not have been completed without the tireless pro bono efforts of Barnes & Thornburg and DLA Piper.
Georgia Appleseed’s Getting Kids the Care They Need: PeachCare and Medicaid Appeals Manual for Attorneys guides advocates in clear, straightforward language through the steps to file a successful appeal. Primarily designed to help with adverse benefit determinations and denial of services, the manual walks through CMS, state fair hearing, and judicial appeals. Read the press release on our website and get your copy today.
 
March Madness Tribunal Representation Training CLE

Here's your chance to earn those CLEs before the May 31 deadline!

Join Georgia Appleseed in an Atlanta Bar Association March Madness CLE event to train attorneys to represent students who are facing public school disciplinary hearings.
 
Date: March 30, 2021
Time: 8:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Approved for 3 CLEs
 
 
After completing this CLE, lawyers will be eligible to join our Tribunal Volunteer Lawyers Network to offer pro bono representation to children in foster care facing long-term suspension or expulsion.
Contact Your State Legislators to Protect Positive School Climate
 
On February 3, 2021, Legal and Policy Director Caroline Durham had the opportunity to testify before the Georgia Senate Committee on Education Youth about SB 42, which proposes removing school discipline as a factor in determining school climate ratings. Caroline testified that it is impossible to separate school discipline from evaluation of school climate. The determination of a school’s climate star rating is a complex calculation that includes many variables. Removing discipline negates the validity of the ratings. Please contact your state legislators and tell them to vote against SB 42.

 
A critical component in dismantling the school-to-prison-pipeline, a positive school climate creates an environment where students feel comfortable, valued, and secure. Positive school climates are associated with better educational and mental health outcomes for all students. A school’s climate includes the school rules and norms, how the school communicates them, if the rules are fair and supportive, and how they are enforced. Parents, students, and community members better understand their school’s climate when they know how the school disciplines its students. For the last decade, Georgia Appleseed has advocated for improved school climate as part of its leadership of the Georgia Education Climate Coalition. For more information, contact cdurham@gaappleseed.org.
Innovative Program Leveraged to Keep More Families in Homes

Clayton County Homeless Intervention Program (HIP), a project of Georgia Appleseed, is helping Georgia families stay in their homes. Based on a social lab model, HIP engages the magistrate court, school officials, code enforcement officers, advocates for tenants, and service providers to innovate and test policy solutions to prevent homelessness.
 
Because of an eviction diversion program created by HIP, 357 families have received resources—through Hearts to Nourish Hope and GaACT—to stay in their homes when actively facing eviction. Most of those families are single moms with elementary aged children and most had only missed one rent payment.
 
When Georgia Appleseed shared HIP’s success with the Clayton County Commission, they leveraged an additional $1 million for tenants struggling because of the pandemic. HIP continues to work to create innovative ways to increase stable, healthy housing for their community. For more information, contact our Legal and Policy Director at cdurham@gaappleseed.org.
Additional Resources &

In recognition of the incredible impact COVID-19 is having on our lives and throughout our communities, we are continuing to share resources on our social media channels. Below are a handful of links that we hope will help connect people to the resources they need at this time:
 
  • Help Guides for Children with Behavior and Learning ChallengesEasy-to-read guides on school-based topics including discipline, learning disabilities, and more. Las Guías de ayuda de Georgia Appleseed para niños con problemas de comportamiento y aprendizaje ya están
  • Tribunal Representation—Caseworkers and caregivers can request pro bono representation for kids in care who are facing school disciplinary hearings.
  • (866) 399-8938—This COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline is available to all Georgians from 8:00 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
  • 211—Calling 211 or searching the website can help you find food, pay housing bills, access childcare, and more.
  • Atlanta Legal Aid—This resource list includes information about court closings, emergency food help, and more.
  • Georgia Department of Education—This DOE site includes links to school closure information and online learning resources.
  • Voices for Georgia’s Children—Voices has put together a robust list of news and resources around COVID-19, including financial resources, food assistance, closures, guidance on talking to children about the pandemic, and more.
  • Children's Healthcare of Atlanta—CHOA's Strong4Life resource page provides parenting guidance for the COVID-19 era, including how to talk about social distancing with kids, avoiding injuries during isolation, and much more.
  • Deepen Your Work by Engaging in Meditation for Change Agents: Caroline Durham, our Legal and Policy Director, has been leading meditation programs for lawyers, activists, and change agents for more than 10 years. Her meditation practice began more than 15 years ago while serving as a public defender. Take a moment to ground and strengthen your work life by joining us. No experience necessary. For more information, contact Caroline at cdurham@gaappleseed.org.

We'd also like to share additional links that are helping us think about justice-related issues of the day: 
 
Georgia Appleseed Needs Your Support

At Georgia Appleseed, we focus on dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline and advocating for healthy housing because we believe these areas are powerful leverage points for meaningful, systemic change.

If you would like to join us in creating systemic change, please make a donation today.
 
If you are interested in volunteering with us, please fill out our pro bono interest form