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Fashion Show is One of Many Ways Atlanta Heights’ Liaison Brings Families Together

As a mother of six children and the student/family liaison at Atlanta Heights Charter School, Danyale Barrow-Hutson has a passion for understanding students’ needs and facilitating parent engagement.
For the past seven years she has helped the faces she often sees in the neighborhood bring that same sense of community within the walls of Atlanta Heights. And she has done it through fashion shows, marches, and themed workshops.

Barrow-Hutson speaking to parents
Danyale Barrow-Hutson conducts parent workshops on topics such as how to create a learning environment for your scholar and how to address their learning capabilities.

“Atlanta Heights is very family and culturally based,” she said. “I’m comfortable in my surrounding that I get to share the things that I’m able to do, but I really enjoy the opportunities they have afforded me to do with the students and the parents and I that’s why I’m still here.”
Barrow-Hutson has been at Atlanta Heights for seven years, and she enjoys having the opportunity to help parents get involved around the school and get families engaged in the school community she cares deeply about.
Barrow-Hutson with mentor Edith AbakareDanyale Barrow-Hutson attends the retirement gathering Edith Abakare, her mentor in parent engagement.
One of the first events she does every year involves grandparents to give them time at the school and have them connect with students through their difference in age. Through an “Are You Smarter Than Your Scholar” quiz, they get to understand the different times and different genres in a friendly competition.
The family atmosphere at Atlanta Heights has materialized through programs she has been part of that help parents teach their child to read and have them involved in their education. Whether it’s books fairs with a Black History Month theme or having inspirational speakers come to talk to the children, Barrow-Hutson melds togetherness with education.
“I enjoy doing those kinds of things,” she said. “Although we have a message behind us, we are able to bring fun to it as well.”

Barrow-Hutson posing
Barrow-Hutson also put on an annual event in March where fathers read to their children and participated together in activities.
“I really am proud of that because it’s usually standing room only,” she said. “It’s amazing to me how a lot of the fathers will come and read to the children.”

Last month, community members, parents, scholars, teachers, and staff took part in a Fashion, Academics, Music, Entertainment (FAME) workshop that included Moral Focus fashion attire, inspirational poetry, dance team performances, contest award presentations, and scholar and staff modeling. Barrow-Hutson, an experienced seamstress, created a club after school that had students decorating clothing with messages of Moral Focus.
Fashion show collageAtlanta Heights Charter School students put on a fashion show on Jan. 17.
For two to three times per week from October to January, Barrow-Hutson worked with students and parents to design, sew, alter, heat press, and distress clothing and sneakers for the showcase with four themes in mind: Moral Focus Mindset, Formal, African/Cultural, and Personal Swag. As attendees showered the participants’ creativity with applause, the parents were shown the importance of applying the Moral Focus principles.
“I was really surprised how well they responded to it,” she said. “A lot of the students were students that may not be a cheerleader or on a sports team. It broke a lot of children out of their shells. I had a lot of fun with it.”
Keep up the excellent work, Mrs. Barrow-Hutson!

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About Atlanta Heights Charter School:
Atlanta Heights Charter School is a tuition-free, public charter school in Atlanta, Georgia, serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

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