As we’re making our way into 2016, East Nashville Hope Exchange can’t help but reflect on the past year - and what a year it was! Here are a few of the highlights and favorite moments.
Our small student/teacher ratio of 6:1 enables children to receive the guidance needed to prevent summer learning loss, prepare for the upcoming grade, and increase reading levels. Some of our program results of Summer 2015 include:
- Prior to 2015, we were able to serve 42 students in grades 1-3 in our summer and school year program. In 2015, we expanded our program to serve 78 students in rising kindergarten through 4th grade. This tremendous increase in students also meant another first for ENHE: two separate campuses for our summer program (one at St. Ann’s and one at Ross Early Learning Center).
- During our summer program, 74 out of 78 students (95%) either maintained their current skill level or showed improvement in at least three of the four areas we assess.
- 98% of families who completed an end-of-summer program survey report that they are better able to help their children learn to read because they participated in ENHE.
- Books, books, books. Every week, each class did an in-depth reading of a Weekly Theme Book, then took that book home on Fridays to build their home libraries. Students also took home at least one new book every day, courtesy of Flowerpot Press and First Book, for a total of at least 29 books for each student overall! 71% of our families read nightly with their children and recorded their reading in a log for at least 50% of program days.
Guest readers, art and cultural organizations and other Nashville community supporters make up an integral part of the instructional summer program. Here are some highlights from Summer 2015:
- Students created personal art in the “Silhouette Cypher Project” with artist Brandon Donahue. This project focused on our theme “My Family, My Community and My World” and cultivated the students’ visual literacy (the ability to interpret, negotiate and make meaning from information presented in images). The project was supported by Art 4 Moore and is currently on display at Yeast Nashville.
- Students worked with the Street Theatre Company and Eric Dozier Music and Education to create an original musical production based on the books they read this summer.
- Plant the Seed had a Family Foods event with the younger students at Ross ELC.
- The city council elections allowed the opportunity for our students to “participate” in the democratic process with a mock debate from the District 6 candidates: Brett Withers and Peter Westerholm.
- Field trips included Nashville’s City Council Chambers, Vanderbilt University Athletics Field, and Owl Hill’s Nature Sanctuary.
- Guest Readers included First Lady Crissy Haslam and Mayor Karl Dean.
Our program is funded solely through community supporters, grants, and fundraising events. Thank you to all of our donors and sponsors who supported ENHE throughout the year and during these events:
- 13th Annual Wine Tasting and Silent Auction
- Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee’s BIg Payback
- Giving Tuesday
Lastly, we would not be able to operate this program without our teachers. THANK YOU for your dedication to the students of East Nashville!
With the support of our community partners, donors, volunteers and teachers, we are looking forward to increasing literacy education in 2016!