The Den at Jean Childs Young Middle School aims to be the first middle school to offer an onsite wraparound center in the state of Georgia. On July 14, CBS 46’s Karyn Greer hosted a virtual kickoff on Facebook Live for community members to learn more about The Den and find ways to be involved in impacting the lives of students in Southwest Atlanta.
“We are launching something tonight that I call a labor of love, something that my team and I have been working on for about a year,” said Principal Kara Stimpson during the virtual launch. “Little did we know when we dreamt up this project a year ago how timely it would be. It’s an eerie coincidence that the world is where the world is right now. We are poised to launch something that we think will be transformational for both the children and the families of the Jean Childs Young Middle School community.”
The Den will provide an additional layer of support so students can effectively navigate their academic and social environment. As part of the school’s effort to provide comprehensive holistic support for every Young student, the Den will focus on four “Wolf Strides”:
- Social-emotional well-being
- Academic success
- Basic needs support
- Access and exposure to the world
“As a teacher, a counselor, and a mother, I know instinctually the value and purpose of The Den,” said Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring in prerecorded remarks. “Within the safety of The Den, we pull the pack together to care, nurture, and teach our young people. As is in their nature, wolves use the den to communicate, socialize, and connect. With The Den at Young, we can protect and nourish our own Wolf Pack, just as wolves do. … We are all here to empower the pack!”
In addition to Dr. Herring, Atlanta Public Schools board members Jason Esteves, Cynthia Briscoe Brown and Erica Mitchell also participated in the virtual launch.
Principal Stimpson says The Den is a sustainable answer to how to turn around a struggling school. Stimpson and her team have allocated $750,000 of the school’s budget to support renovations and dedicated staff, secured $60,000 in grants, and garnered partnerships from Hands On ATL, I’m A Father First, NorthStar, Georgia State University, The Homeless Period Project, Georgia Hope, Salesforce/Boldforce, Holistic Stress Institute and Fulton Board of Health.
Additional in-kind and financial support is needed to transform The Den into a fully functional and aesthetically pleasing wraparound center. Interested investors should contact Vice Principal Keisha Gibbons, director of The Den, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Missed the virtual launch? Re-watch and learn more about The Den on Facebook .