Metro Schools will Serve as Hubs for Needed Community Services

It's not a new idea, but it is experiencing a national resurgence: bring families and communities into schools and students will succeed. Metro Nashville Public Schools is proud to announce Community Achieves, a program that will draw families into greater engagement with their schools by turning many schools into hubs for needed services and programs in their communities. They will offer a range of helpful services for families built around four areas of need:

  • Health & Wellness
  • Social Services
  • Family Engagement
  • College & Career Readiness

These could take the form of after school programs, health clinics, sports, adult education, job counseling, community events and more. Each school will assess its needs and work with partners to offer programs to meet them.

“Nashville is rich with resources and has a strong tradition of community pride,” said Gini Pupo-Walker, director of Parent and Community Partnerships. “We are poised to come together around Community Achieves and rethink the way we engage with the schools in our neighborhoods.”

The benefits of high performing Community Schools are many:

  • Higher student achievement
  • Reduced mobility
  • Family stability
  • Increased teacher satisfaction
  • Stronger relationships
  • Better communication
  • Community pride
  • More positive school environment

“When you help families, you help students,” said Tony Majors, executive officer for Support Services. “Through Community Achieves we can keep families involved to increase achievement and decrease the chances of them leaving school. When families are engaged, everyone benefits.”

Before coming to work as leaders in the Student Services department, Majors and Pupo-Walker led the Community Schools initiative at Glencliff High School. They turned the school into a source of pride for its students, parents and neighbors by offering needed services. They were honored with the Community Schools National Award for Excellence in 2011 for their efforts. Through Community Achieves they are taking that work to scale, serving thousands more families in Nashville.

Antioch High School hosted today’s announcement with Dr. Jesse Register and Martin Blank, Director of the Coalition for Community Schools in Washington, D.C.  Antioch is one of several schools included in Community Achieves program.  At Antioch, families already benefit from a robust health clinic, on-site family and youth services, and college tutors.

The work of Community Achieves would not be possible without help from key community partners like Alignment Nashville, United Way, the PENCIL Foundation, YMCA, the Martha O’Bryan Center, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Metro Public Health Department, Conexión Américas, and the Nashville Career Advancement Center. Many more will come on board as the program progresses.