April 2017 Around Town 1

Holmes Headlines 4th Annual Speaker Series

Keynote speaker for the Fulton County Aviation Community Cultural Center Aviation Speaker Series Captain Barry P. Holmes, Manager of Pilot Selection for Delta Air Lines, flew P-3s in the Naval Reserve before joining Delta as a pilot in January 1988. During his 28-years with Delta, Holmes has flown the B727, DC9, MD88, MD90, B757 and B767 aircrafts. The speaker presentations are open to the public. The Aviation Community Cultural Center is located on the Fulton County Airport, Charlie Brown Field (KFTY), 3900 Aviation Circle NW, in Atlanta. For more information, visit FultonArts.com, the Black Aviation Airline Pioneers at BAAP.info or Aviation Career Enrichment at FlyACE.org.

Atlanta-Area Students to Test Spanish Skills in Havana, Cuba

Students from The Green School, an Atlanta-area dual-language immersion elementary school program, visited Cuba in February for an intensive cultural learning experience. As The Green School’s mission centers on fostering a love of culture, language, service and diversity among their kindergarten through third-grade scholars, international educational travel is a natural addition to the experience that teachers and staff seek to infuse into the classroom every day.

The Green School students collectively decided to schedule their trip to coincide with the International Book Fair in Havana, because of their passion for children’s literature. The six-day visit also included tours of Havana; Viñales Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site; and Finca Vigia, Ernest Hemingway’s home in Cuba. To practice their Spanish skills, students interacted with local children while working on projects at a Havana community arts center. The students ended their time in Cuba with a visit to the U.S. Embassy, where they participated in the very first embassy briefing for elementary school-aged children conducted at the Havana-based consulate.

In preparation for their visit, students studied important figures in Cuban culture, such as Jose Marti, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and Ernest Hemingway, and learned about the political and social history of the Caribbean island. They also discovered Latin music, like salsa and son, in their twice-weekly music classes.

“I’m so excited and happy about going to Cuba. Our whole class got to go on a trip to another country. And we get to tell our kids about this one day, if we have any!” says Tatu Paulino, an 8-year-old student at The Green School.

International field trips are nothing new to veteran students at The Green School. Last year, a small group of students and parents went to Costa Rica. “Authentic experiences are instrumental in bringing language learning alive, motivating students to really embrace the target language and understanding the value that being multilingual provides. With these excursions, we’re giving our students a unique chance to immerse and engage all of their senses, which is not an opportunity that is generally available to children this age in a school environment, particularly for children of color. We truly strive to make the world our kids’ classroom,” says one teacher at The Green School.

Participation in this year’s trip has tripled, with 34 students, teachers, parents and siblings taking part. Malika Smith, parent of a kindergartener at The Green School, says, “When I tell friends, family and coworkers that my 6-year-old son and his classmates are going on a field trip to Cuba, they’re always shocked. They think back to their elementary school days and remember going to local plays or museums, which the kids do frequently at The Green School, too. But the school is taking it a step further and extending their ‘playground’ to include areas outside of their local, and even national, realm.”

Located in East Point, Georgia, The Green School is a primary-level extension of its sister school, Little Linguists International Preschool, with locations in East Point and Decatur. Both the preschool and elementary school programs employ language-immersion models, with preschoolers having full immersion exposure to Spanish and Mandarin, and elementary school students operating under a dual-immersion Spanish and English model.

Get On Track with the Youth Cycling League at the Velodrome

Soccer? Tried it. Basketball? Check. Baseball? Done that. If your kids have tried a range of sports and still haven’t found one that piques their interest, perhaps you need to get them on track!

“On track” in this case means on a bicycle racing track, or a velodrome. East Point, south of Atlanta, is home to Dick Lane Velodome, where kids can participate in the Youth Cycling League.

The thrill of going fast on the banked velodrome surfaces draws many people to the exciting sport of track cycling. Imagine a NASCAR track, then add bicycles without gears or brakes on a smaller track (one-fifth of a mile with a 36-degree banking), and that’s what the DLV looks like.

Kids need not fear the bowl-like appearance of the velodrome. The Youth Cycling League starts out with the basics of riding a bike without brakes and gears, and kids start on the flattest loop of the track before progressing.

“We have a controlled, car-free environment where kids get expert instruction and participate in a sport most other kids don’t even know about,” says track manager Robert Evans. “We provide the bicycles, the helmets and as they progress, even the special shoes and kit (uniform) to really get serious.”

Evans explains that the kids enjoy the track for the challenge. “Track cycling is unlike any other sport, and they just keep coming back. Many have gone on to race at other velodromes and become involved with other forms of cycling, such as road or mountain biking.”

The Youth Cycling League currently draws participants from 19 Metro Atlanta counties and is a free, donation-based program taught by professional cycling coaches and former professional cyclists. The program is open to kids ages 8-16 years old, grouped by ability levels. All riders start at the beginner level before advancing to intermediate and advanced levels based on how quickly they master the skills taught and show their improved ability to ride.

The 2017 Youth Cycling League began in March, with a beginner program at 5:15 p.m. and an intermediate program at 6:30 p.m. All new riders must attend the beginners time, even if they have previous cycling experience. Kids will have a chance to race in front of friends and family during the velodrome’s three Pro Races this summer.

Located just seven miles south of Downtown Atlanta, the Dick Lane Velodrome is one of only 26 active velodromes in the entire country. Built long before the 1996 Olympic Velodrome at Stone Mountain, the DLV still stands 20 years after the Olympic Velodrome’s dismantling.




New Shops & Hard Rock Hotel Slated for Castleberry Park

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed joined Bolton Atlanta, LP General Manager Yanfeng Frank Chen and various business and civic leaders to break ground at Castleberry Park, a new mixed-use development in Atlanta’s Westside. The development will include a 200-room Hard Rock brand hotel, approximately 130 apartments, retail space and a small park near Centennial Olympic Park Drive, Mitchell Street, Chapel Street and Mangum Street. The development is scheduled to open in 2019. Bolton Atlanta, LP is the ownership group for the Castleberry Park development project.