As the founding executive director of the Grove Park Foundation, Debra Edelson has spent years working with partners to uplift and empower the Grove Park neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia. To date, KIPP stands among the very best partners she has had the privilege of working with to bring a philanthropic vision to life.
Grove Park, now a vibrant and thriving community in northwest Atlanta, suffered from chronic neglect and lack of investment until very recently. Recalls Edelson, “It was a community where no one invested in sidewalks, no one invested in anything.” From her background as an urban planner, she worked to break the cycle of poverty. Said Edelson, “to do that in an enduring way requires putting education at the center of the conversation.” Making educational opportunities available to Grove Park residents, however, was not a straightforward path. Edelson needed to work with Atlanta Public Schools to establish a new school in the area, find an educational partner who could elevate the education provided to students to a higher level, and find funding for a new building worthy of Grove Park residents.
“KIPP’s name just kept coming up everywhere… KIPP has been an amazing partner. We work with many partners–that is the model of the Grove Park Foundation. KIPP has discipline and direction, we’re working together arm in arm. A decision was made and KIPP executed beautifully as partners. We are grateful for that.”
KIPP Woodson Park Academy, a beautiful 115,000 square foot facility that, at scale, will provide education from pre-K to 8th grade, is the centerpiece of the Grove Park Foundation’s educational efforts. Opened in 2020 and currently serving more than 700 students, KIPP Woodson Park Academy also brings together supporting services–a YMCA and a health clinic–that benefit the entire community.
Reflecting on her work with KIPP, Edelson notes, “KIPP is a changemaker, and I hope that the partnership will yield generations of children who will be educated and go on to lead this community.” And as a critical partner, KIPP is proud to have worked with Edelson to make her vision a reality and give local residents the resources they need to succeed and have choice-filled lives.view ALL POSTS