History of AFT
AFT began as a GSU initiative that was funded by the Metro Atlanta P-16 Council, a consortium of university, business and school system representatives along with the Georgia Association of Educators. This program focused solely on secondary education issues and topics, though curriculum touched upon teaching any subject. These first academies were for six full days, culminating in a closing ceremony on Saturday afternoon. GSU professors and doctoral students served as instructors.
The Atlanta Public School System (APS) launched a pilot academy with 34 students from teaching magnet Booker T. Washington. This program was funded by the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Partnership for Reform in the Instruction of Science and Mathematics (PRISM) grant and focused upon teaching high school science and mathematics. Classes were taught by APS Master Teachers paired with a Georgia State faculty member.
GSU and APS merged to create a single 3-week academy focused on instructional strategies for the teaching of mathematics, science and early chidhood education. Funding was provided by NSF PRISM and PRISM satellite grants.
With the success of the GSU/APS partnership, a second-year curriculum is established for students who wanted to return for a second summer experience.
With the conclusion of NSF’s PRISM support, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia agreed to continue the support of AFT through the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) grant. Additional underwriting was provided by a generous donation from Scientific Atlanta.
AFT welcomes its most diverse population ever. In a collaborative program with After School All-Stars, every AFT participant now student teaches each week - either PreK or middle school. A generous grant from American Honda Foundation supports field trips, stipends, speakers and food.
2011 was AFT’s most diverse year to-date with applicants from 11 systems and 49 different high schools. The STEM grant continued to support AFT which, from 2004-July 2011, has welcomed approximately 420 students. Residual support comes from the American Honda Foundation and Scientific Atlanta.
57 students from 10 school systems enjoy a new component of the AFT curriculum – Computer Animation as a Teaching Tool. In spite of economic challenges, the STEM grant from the BOR continues substantial support to AFT which is combined with a grant from The Atlanta Foundation and the College of Education.