Since banding together in 1979, the historians at Atlanta Preservation Center have helped ward off packs of angry bulldozers from more than 175 endangered buildings. Working alongside local government, businesses, and community leaders, the preservation team has saved elaborate structures including the Peters House and Winecoff Hotel. In addition, its headquarters—the 1856 Grant Mansion in Grant Park—is one of just three antebellum houses left in Atlanta and the team is currently working to restore the building to its architecturally accurate origins. When it isn’t keeping delicate treasures from crumbling, the Atlanta Preservation Center leads walking tours of historic areas and tells embarrassing stories from the days when the city’s buildings were just a bunch of baby bricks.
Piedmont Park preserves the luxury of yesteryear. Designed in the late 1800s, the park's facilities have withstood the test of time with recreational halls that reflect the simplicity of its lush landscapes, and wetlands. Over the past 20 years, the Piedmont Park Conservancy has restored the park to its historic natural beauty, transforming a dilapidated space into a frequented green space. A slew of activities engage the community with outdoor programs ranging from environmental day camps to team sports such as soccer and softball. Park tours explore the history of the neighborhood and the weekly Green Market whets appetites with fresh produce from local farmers and thieving rabbits.
WonderRoot fosters the next generation of artists in its Community Arts Center, including access to arts-education classes and all of the center's media production facilities. Young people ages 18 and under can enrich expressive skills in arts classes such as bookbinding and video editing and take advantage of resource spaces that include a darkroom, digital-media lab, and printing, recording, and ceramics studios. Professional development programs are also available to nurture budding artists. While membership to the center costs $60, WonderRoot strives to make their resources accessible to the community and has supported 88 young artists in the past year with free memberships.
Lacking essential food and hygiene items can make it more difficult for young people to achieve the successes that can help them emerge from homelessness, such as passing the GED or interviewing for a job. StandUp For Kids provides basic survival packs filled with two weeks' worth of easily transportable food and hygiene products. Each survival pack is designed to improve everyday life with small food items—such as juice, a granola bar, raisins, and canned spaghetti—and basic hygiene products—including deodorant, shampoo, sunscreen, a toothbrush, socks, underwear, and washcloths.
Known for guiding the women of The Real Housewives of Atlanta through ab-strengthening moves, the instructors at the Nazeem Allayl Belly Dance Studio started as a professional dance troupe before opening a studio in 1999. Now with 32 classes offered under one roof, the Nazeem Allayl Belly Dance Studio aims to boost the self-confidence of its all-female students during drop-in Shimmy Fit classes and five-week technique courses. Instructors disguise calorie-blasting exercises with engaging choreography so that students can tone muscles without spending the day trying to slip an oiled-up pig into a wetsuit.
Packed with games, supplies, lesson plans, and interactive homework, the It's My Business course provides sixth graders with real-world-focused instruction, integrating social studies, reading, writing, and critical thinking. Lessons—which are designed to help students meet Georgia Performance Standards—cover subjects such as advertising, apprenticeship, marketing, and civic responsibility. Students engage in six activities designed to enhance career confidence and explore pathways of employment. The course begins with an introduction to the concepts of entrepreneurship and ends with the development of a business plan.