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Straight-A scholars at Ivy Preparatory Academy Kirkwood will soon have an opportunity to join an organization for high achievers. IPA Kirkwood is starting a campus chapter of the National Beta Club, an organization that provides networking opportunities and leadership training for some of the country’s brightest kids.

Kirkwood’s Beta Club chapter will be open to Ivy scholars in grades 3-8 who have good behavior and a grade point average of at least a 3.5. Beta Club members in grades 7-8 travel to the annual state leadership conference in Macon where they attend seminars and compete in events that showcase their academic and artistic talents.

The parents and guardians of Kirkwood scholars who meet the academic qualifications will receive a letter informing them that their scholar is eligible. Scholars need recommendation letters and at least one signature from a teacher to be considered for Beta Club.

“The Beta Club assists scholars in their efforts to think outside of the box,” said Dr. LaShunda Hawkins, who is sponsoring the new Beta Club at IPA Kirkwood. “Members get to compete with other schools in Georgia in events that allow them to show their creativity and intelligence. It helps them to bond as a team and understand the true meaning of sisterhood.”

IPA’s Beta Club is a local chapter of National Beta Club, the country’s largest independent nonprofit youth organization. National Beta Club has been serving scholars for 80 years. It has more than 350,000 members nationwide.

Dr. Hawkins, a teacher at IPA Kirkwood, also served as a former sponsor for the Beta Club at IPA Gwinnett. IPA Gwinnett’s Beta Club was launched soon after the school opened. It has made state education history twice. Last school year, IPA Gwinnett scholar Selina Vazquez-Mendoza became the first public charter school student to be elected as state president of Georgia’s Beta Club. Gwinnett’s Beta Club also was the first club from a single-gender public charter school to win as a top contender in the Quiz Bowl – a curriculum trivia contest – at the state conference level. The team placed fourth at nationals in 2015.

“We will have a friendly rivalry with Gwinnett,” Dr. Hawkins said. “We have a lot of work to do.”

The new Kirkwood Beta Club will hold its first meeting in September after members are chosen. “We are looking at kids who have been on the honor roll and who exemplify our Prep Values – Professionalism, Responsibility, Engagement and Perseverance.”

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