COLLEGE PARK, Ga. -- A Clayton County school is going the extra mile to reach out to students in their community. North Clayton Middle School teachers have taken on an initiative to be visible in the College Park neighborhoods to learn more about the communities the students live in. This is part of an initiative started by the school principal Shakira Rice.

The educators visited ten different places in College Park – residential neighborhoods, churches, barbershops, local businesses and recreation centers. All of this is in efforts to figure out the resources students have in their neighborhoods.

The principal says she wants her teachers to connect with the students in the classrooms on a personal level and this initiative will help reach that goal.

“If our teachers can relate and understand where our scholars come from they can then know how to relate to them and design instructional programs and activities that fit the need of our scholars,” Rice said.

Rice says efforts like this are needed to improve every students' learning experience and the graduation rate. She says going beyond the classroom can make all the difference.