Google gives 133 metro Atlanta teachers $1,000 to help students during pandemic

Harper-Archer Elementary School teacher Christina Miller used a $1,000 grant she received from Google to purchase games and educational resources for her students. SUBMITTED

Combined ShapeCaption
Harper-Archer Elementary School teacher Christina Miller used a $1,000 grant she received from Google to purchase games and educational resources for her students. SUBMITTED

More than 100 metro Atlanta teachers received $1,000 each from Google to help students learn from home.

The $133,000 in grant money from Google.org will support 133 area teachers in Atlanta, DeKalb, Cobb, Fulton and Gwinnett school systems.

It’s part of a larger $10 million initiative by the tech giant to support distance learning efforts while school buildings are closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Google directed $2 million of the $10 million to DonorsChoose, a crowdfunding website that helps teachers raise money for classroom projects.

Teachers, including local ones who received funding, are using the money to pay for supplies and books to boost students’ learning while they are studying at home.

Christina Miller, a Harper-Archer Elementary School special education teacher, used the $1,000 she received to buy educational and fun activities for 15 students. She purchased supplies such as binders and dividers to help students organize their schoolwork, pencils, markers, scissors to help students improve their fine motor skills, Play-Doh, books, a clipboard and games.

She wants to encourage students to spend time playing board games such as Sorry and Chutes and Ladders with their family over the summer. That playtime can improve social skills like listening and following directions, said the Atlanta Public Schools teacher.

Combined ShapeCaption
Christina Miller put together packages of books, games and other resources for her students at Harper-Archer Elementary School in Atlanta. Miller is one of 133 teachers in metro Atlanta who received money from Google to purchase supplies to help students during the coronavirus school building closures. Submitted photo.

Christina Miller put together packages of books, games and other resources for her students at Harper-Archer Elementary School in Atlanta. Miller is  one of 133 teachers in metro Atlanta who received money from Google to purchase supplies to help students during the coronavirus school building closures. Submitted photo.

Combined ShapeCaption
Christina Miller put together packages of books, games and other resources for her students at Harper-Archer Elementary School in Atlanta. Miller is one of 133 teachers in metro Atlanta who received money from Google to purchase supplies to help students during the coronavirus school building closures. Submitted photo.

Spending more than two months out of the classroom and away from teachers has been tough for some of her students. Not all of them have been able to log in regularly to online lessons.

“I do have some anxiety about what this is doing for some of my kids,” she said. “I have a couple of children who honestly, they are thriving. They actually prefer learning at their own pace and being at home and so these students are OK.”

In a written statement, Jacquelline Fuller, president of Google.org and a vice president at Google, said the aim is “to help teachers and parents access resources to provide learning opportunities to children, particularly those from underserved communities during this crisis."