Holland & Knight LLP and Centennial Place Elementary School recently received the annual A+ Award for Innovation from Atlanta Partners for Education, a nonprofit partnership between the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the Atlanta Public School System.
The A+ Awards recognize exceptional partnerships between Atlanta Public Schools and community businesses, institutions and organizations. The Innovation Award is given to the partnership that demonstrates outstanding out-of-the-box thinking and helps their school achieve targeted objectives through highly creative methods.
"Initially, our partnership was formed in an effort to tutor students that were not meeting academic expectations," said Dr. Cynthia Kuhlman, principal of Centennial Place Elementary School. The partnership expanded to include a unique mock trial program called the Justice Project, which teaches public speaking skills and exposes students to law, legal terms and civil justice.
"When children know they are in a community that cares about them, wants them to learn and improve, wants them to succeed, and tries to help them do that, they function better, work harder, and take pride in achievement," said James Watson, senior counsel at Holland & Knight.
Holland & Knight has been a sponsor of the Justice Project since 1995. The firm previously won the A+ Award for Innovation in 1997 for their partnership with Benteen Elementary School in Atlanta.
This project is part of Holland & Knight's Opening Doors for Children, a volunteer program staffed by firm volunteers and funded by the Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation, Inc. Thousands of children across America benefit from a Holland & Knight policy that encourages and supports lawyers and staff volunteering their time and talents as tutors, mentors, coaches, or in a number of other capacities.