In October students in NAZA sites across the city celebrated "Lights on Afterschool" with afterschool programs across the country. Students also used the celebration to highlight literacy in afterschool by taking photos with their favorite books, or writing about their favorite books. Contest winners received a book of their choice as well as another popular title for middle schoolers selected by NAZA's Literacy Coach.
Creativity, teamwork, cooperation, communication, dedication, honesty, courage, responsibility- these are just some of the skills and values showcased every day in NAZA-sponsored afterschool programs. These skills and values reached their peak at NAZA’s 7th Annual Youth Leadership Retreat, held Monday, October 4th at Camp Widjiwagan. The program included camp activities such as the Alpine Tower, ground team building games, and the Giant Swing, as well as science activities through a partnership with the Adventure Science Center and a theater workshop through Metro Theater. Plus, NAZA’s Literacy Coach delivered an interactive workshop focused on character-building. In total, 127 students from 25 schools joined the retreat for a full day of immersive, interactive leadership activities.
On August 29, 44 NAZA-sponsored sites began the new school year serving students from 26 Nashville middle schools. Thanks to additional funding from Mayor Barry and Metro Council, NAZA was able to expand its services from 24 to 28 weeks to better support students and families. We're excited to continue to support high-quality afterschool opportunities for our 7th year!
When school districts and afterschool systems partner together, it improves outcomes for the students they serve. "MNPS and NAZA work together to ensure that the city’s afterschool programs are responsive to the unique needs of their students and communities. Because of NAZA’s commitment to effective data use, students receive targeted supports that result in improved academic outcomes." We're proud to have our work featured in this piece from the Data Quality Campaign.
This school year NAZA and the MNPS Office of English Learners have partnered to support EL students beyond school hours. This pilot program pairs a NAZA site with an EL teacher who facilitates guided reading and writing activities that strengthen the knowledge base students are building in their classrooms.
We're excited to announce the winners of our 2nd Annual Poetry Contest. These students' poems were selected from nearly 100 entries. Thanks to all who contributed their poems! The overall winner's poem is pictured below.
Overall Winner: Tamaria Anderson, 7th Grade, YMCA Haynes
Runner-Up: Matthew Whitman, 6th Grade, Paradise Ridge
Honorable Mention: Lissandro Iglesias, 5th Grade, Apollo CRIT
Honorable Mention: Mariam Hana, 5th Grade, Donelson PACE
Honorable Mention: Trinity Greene, 5th Grade, Bethlehem Center
Several NAZA sites will be celebrating "World Read-Aloud Day" this Wednesday after school. You can also celebrate by reading a poem or favorite book passage aloud to friends, family members, fellow students, or co-workers.
As part of our annual Showcase, students at NAZA sites are welcome to submit a poem in our 2nd Annual Poetry contest. Prizes will be awarded to the top contestants at our Showcase on Saturday, April 9, at Whites Creek High School.
Each year in October the Afterschool Alliance celebrates "Lights On Afterschool" to highlight the achievements of the 10 million students in afterschool programs across the country. This year NAZA joined thousands of other communities in this celebration through our "Lights on in the Library" event. Several Metro Schools librarians volunteered to stay after school to host our afterschool students in their middle school libraries. The librarians taught students how to access books and media through "Limitless Libraries," and Book 'em Nashville donated over 1,000 books so all the students took home a book of their choice. A special thank you to Book 'em and the many MNPS librarians who volunteered to provide a wonderful celebration for our students!