Amana Academy Charter Schools has received a $500,000 gift from the Kendeda Fund to bring equitable educational opportunities to more students through the development of the organization’s second campus – a first of its kind, located on the grounds of Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta’s Camp Timber Ridge in Mableton. Nestled under a canopy of trees and surrounded by nature, the West Atlanta campus provides a beautiful setting for students with opportunities for adventure, exploration and outdoor STEM learning. 

Building on a 15-year track record of empowering students to not only achieve excellent academic results, but to also build intercultural competence and global citizenship, Amana West is on track to open in August 2022, serving students in grades K-3 from West Atlanta, South Cobb and South Fulton counties. The school will add a grade each year until it reaches 8th grade.

“As we looked to replicate our model in other areas of town, we knew we wanted to stay true to the original intentions of our founders,” says Amana’s Executive Director, Ehab Jaleel. “Our student body at our flagship school has always been composed of a multitude of ethnicities, races and economic statuses, and we’ve worked hard to ensure that every student feels like they belong –  like they are in a safe space to take risks and learn without barriers. We want them to know there is more in them than they ever thought possible. We see this as a critical component in our ability to close opportunity gaps and inspire all students to higher levels of achievement in preparation for the new economy.”

“We are grateful for the continued support from the Kendeda Fund and for their commitment to equitable access to high quality education for students of color and other marginalized communities.” says Amana’s Board Chair, Christina Lennon.  This is the second gift that Amana has received from the Kendeda Fund – the first came in 2019 for capacity building, enabling the organization to hire key network office personnel to provide the necessary infrastructure to support a long-term growth strategy. 

“Having the support of community partners like the Kendeda Fund has been a real catalyst for the work that we want to do,” says Chad Cunningham, Senior Vice President, Preferred and Consumer Banking & Investment, Region Executive – GA, TN & Western NC, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Chair-Elect of Amana’s Board, “and with this latest gift, we can continue to move forward with confidence, knowing that we’re building the foundation we need to provide the best possible outcomes for the students at our new campus.”

“I haven’t seen another organization do the work of diversity, equity and inclusion in the way Amana Academy has done it. They have been committed to welcoming diversity for years, and now they are working even harder to take that commitment to the next level by actively ensuring that all feel welcome in all aspects of school life – curriculum, community, and beyond.”  Says Amana Board Member Keona Lewis, Associate Director, Institute Diversity Research at Georgia Tech.