Cobb Schools Foundation Boosts Social Workers Support of Students

The Cobb Schools Foundation was a recipient of a generous grant from the Cobb Community Foundation in partnership with the Jesse Parker Williams Foundation, Inc. and Zeist Foundation

The grant has helped Cobb Schools’ social workers extend their ability to serve students through the summer. These efforts resulted in a book club being established for middle school students who are paired with these social workers. The students were asked to read “Ghost Boys,” written by Jewell Parker Rhodes. The content of the book provides students and their families with a poignant story of the complexities of what is happening in communities across the country.  

Jewell Parker Rhodes, author of Ghost Boys

Ms. Rhodes agreed to be a part of the book club and led a discussion through a Zoom call with students and social workers. The students maintained their interest and were very engaged with the author. She extended her generosity by also offering personal mentorship to these students. 

“The students came alive during the discussion,” stated Ana Murphy, Cobb Schools social work supervisor. “We harnessed student interest and meaningful engagement during such a difficult time caused by the pandemic. Although face to face cannot be replaced, creating moments like this for students has clearly been a success, and we are hopeful in creating additional and similar opportunities in the future.” 

“The content of the books that they chose gave me a spring board into difficult conversations about what our country as a whole was experiencing,” said one grateful parent. “My daughter then felt comfortable to share how she was really feeling about what she was taking in and I learned she was taking in more than I initially thought. I wanted to let you know just how meaningful this was for our family.”

Cobb Schools recently made the decision to start the school year with full remote learning, which creates challenges in obtaining technology for some students in need. The support through this grant not only provided summer social workers, who are typically not available due to limited funding, but it also provided technology and economic aid. Social workers in Cobb provide support to thousands of students throughout the county. Providing additional tools that not only allow social workers to identify barriers but help solve them, is invaluable to students and their families.  

Felicia Wagner, executive director of the Cobb Schools Foundation worked with the Cobb Community Foundation in seeking funding for this important need.  

“This funding is allowing our social workers to provide a full set of service that removes barriers that often cloud a student’s hope for learning,” said Ms. Wagner. “It’s one thing to have a social worker quarterbacking for you, but it’s a new and refreshing experience for students when they can interact with people in the community who genuinely care about them.”

“We are so grateful,” Ms. Wagner continued, “not just for the funding from these two amazing foundations, but also to Ms. Rhodes for creating a learning experience of a lifetime for these students. We can all continue to consider ways to enhance the way education is delivered, whether virtually or traditionally.”

The Cobb Schools Foundation’s mission is to take student success to new heights, if you would like to learn more about their efforts, please visit cobbschoolsfoundation.org or call Felicia Wagner at 770-426-3390.