"Educating the Child, Empowering the Parent, Engaging the Community...Shaping the Future."
Beacon of Hope Renaissance Learning Center :: History

Our History

Beacon of Hope's education program began over 20 years ago through the grassroots efforts of one woman's desire to serve poor children, to keep them safe, and to guide them towards a bright future. When Beacon of Hope was formed in 1996, crime scenes on the Boulevard Corridor were commonplace - youth and adult homicide, drug trafficking, and prostitution were part of the landscape. There is still work to be done; however, today city parks are safer and in use, blighted real estate is being restored, neighborhood schools have improved in academic performance, developers are returning and reinvesting in the neighborhood, and there is a flux of residential movement into the community. BOH has seen direct positive outcomes - 100% of youth served successfully transition to the next educational setting; 95% of youth program participants do not experience juvenile delinquency, do not become teen parents, stay in school and enroll in institutions of higher learning, start businesses, and/or secure employment; and intervention programs for youth report reduced rates in recidivism for delinquency, truancy, and arrests; finally, 100% of affordable housing projects remain occupied by working, low-income residents.

For 19 years, BOH has educated children, empowered parents, and engaged the community of Atlanta's Old Fourth Ward and surrounding communities in Metro Atlanta to break the cycle of poverty and violence that has plagued the area for decades. BOH has earned a reputation in the Old Fourth Ward, Bedford Pines, Downtown Atlanta and beyond, as a trusted, caring, energetic, resourceful, knowledgeable, and deeply committed community partner providing a safety net of assistance to residents in the areas of early childhood development, out-of-school time programs for children and youth, human services (family support and empowerment) programs, community development (including affordable housing), and advocacy (civic engagement). Our teachers have the full support of BOH's collaborative team and resources, not only to ensure that children are ready to enter educational settings, prepared to learn, but eager to make school and education a way of life for the entire family, including extended family members who help take care of the children.

Developing community, parental, school, and student involvement -- holding our schools accountable for delivering high quality, literacy-based, results-driven curricula to our children--are BOH's top priorities. BOH works closely with disproportionately at-risk children and their families, schools, and communities in a high-quality environment (NAEYC and Georgia's DECAL Quality Rate Accreditation) to implement school-readiness strategies that continues year-after-year. Each year, through the support of over 35 established community collaborative partnerships, our children and youth are transitioned ready to be successful in school. This solid foundation enables us to add (and enhance existing) relationships from multicultural sectors necessary to meet the expanding and diverse needs of the population we serve.

BOH has a proactive and strong presence in the community and proven success in engaging disproportionately at-risk youth and their families. BOH holds a solid record in program management of grant funds and brings demonstrated competence and integrity to all programs -- successfully managing government and private grant funds from entities such as the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, Georgia Department of Human Services, Fulton County Human Services, City of Atlanta, United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, Division of Families and Children's Service, the Governor's Discretionary Fund, Harland Foundation, Cousins Foundation, The Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta, The Junior League of Atlanta, Georgia Food Bank Association, Walmart, Home Depot Foundation, EZ Agape and many others.

In 2013, the organization revamped its strategic plan in an effort to increase program effectiveness and extend its service area. As a result, BOH grew from serving 437 students in 2013 to 533 students last year in 2014. The average household size of students is seven, so the resulting impact through family support services, touches over 3000 Atlanta residents. Furthermore, BOH is the only nonprofit in the area with both NAEYC accredited early childhood education programming; and a certified community housing development organization.

Although we have increased capacity by 22% from 2013 to 2014, the Board determined after examination of performance data at the strategic planning workshop that we should serve more children, youth and their families from the Atlanta Promise Neighborhoods. The Atlanta Promise Neighborhoods are also a focus of BOH's United Way partners as needing more intervention and prevention programs. After vetting strategies, the Board agreed that a capital campaign is necessary to continue fulfilling our mission of strengthening the distressed communities and families we serve.

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Georgia Early Learning and Development Quality Standards

Georgia Afterschool & Youth Development Quality Standards

Please see "Accredited Quality Standards" on the About Us tab

Contact Us

The Renaissance Learning Center
120 Renaissance Parkway NE
Atlanta,GA 3030