Community & Neighborhood
February newsletter contents:
Plenty of volunteer opportunities available
Support the Martha O'Bryan Center, a local business and the planet at the same time
Top Floor @ Stratford students show improvement during marking period
Youth staff prepares for THRIVE Summer Academy 2011
By Katherine Avery
Development Officer & Volunteer Coordinator
Hello everyone! I am Katherine Avery, the new Development Officer & Volunteer Coordinator at the Martha O’Bryan Center. I am thrilled and honored to be here!
My intent is to offer meaningful volunteer experiences for you as you share your talents transforming lives. I invite you to consider what you might like to share with our community in lower East Nashville.
Complete the form on the volunteer page and let me know what you're interested in. Here are just some of the opportunities:
Classroom Helper: Support our Early Learning Center, which provides quality care and education to our 6 week to pre-Kindergarten age children. We offer a range of meaningful and interactive volunteer opportunities from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. If you enjoy watching children in action, this could be for you! (Some activities require a background check & fingerprinting.)
Homework Help: Help our THRIVE students (2nd – 12th grades) with homework after school, Monday through Thursday. The 2nd – 8th grade Homework Help is held at at the Martha O’Bryan Center and the 9th – 12th grade Homework Help is held at the Top Floor @ Stratford High School.
Community Garden: Do you like to play in the dirt? Then helping us plant, maintain, and harvest our raised beds is for you! It's a great activity for individual and families, with flexible times that include weekends. Help us grow healthy food!
Adult Education: Students need tutoring assistance in math (including algebra & geometry), reading, and writing. The Adult Education calendar goes through the summer and follows Metro School openings and closings.
Meals on Wheels: Meals are delivered to seniors and shut-ins in the 37206 ZIP code on weekdays. Volunteers pick up meals at the Martha O’Bryan Center between 11:00 & 11:30 a.m. Routes take about 1 hour to deliver and specific directions for each route are included. This is a great opportunity for someone on their lunch hour looking for a meaningful volunteer opportunity.
Food Bank: Our Second Harvest Food Bank truck arrives Friday mornings and we need help unloading and making food boxes. This requires some physical activity.
Healthy Meal & Snack Preparation: Healthy eating is a big part of the Martha O’Bryan Center. Join Chef Meg Giuffrida in the kitchen to prepare a wide range of meals for our community.
Building & Property Maintenance: Special projects at Martha O’Bryan may include grounds keeping, painting or small renovation projects. Projects are ongoing and may be scheduled for weekdays or weekends.
Special Events: Events include in-house receptions and dinners and Miss Martha’s Ice Cream Crankin’. Volunteer opportunities include setting up, food service, and / or cleaning up.
Community Activities: Support our Joyful Noise worship service and other community events by helping us set up, serve food, and clean up.
Martha O’Bryan truly is an incredible place. Those who experience Martha O’Bryan get a taste of the passion and generous spirit that lives here. Please come and see for yourself.
The Green Wagon to donate a portion of sales to the Martha O'Bryan Center
The Green Wagon, a "green" general store in East Nashville, will donate 5% of its sales on March 2 to the Martha O'Bryan Center.
"The idea is to bring awareness and financial support to Martha O'Bryan and other non-profits working toward a sustainable future for East Nashville," said Johnny Shields, who owns the East Nashville store with his wife, Tara. "We have chosen 4 non-profits which we feel represent four different branches of sustainability. Martha O'Bryan represents the community strengthening aspect."
The Martha O'Bryan Center will receive this benefit every first Wednesday of the month, Shields said.
The store focuses on locally made and eco-friendly merchandise from across the Southeast. Other charities that will benefit on different days are East Nashville Cooperative Ministries, Friends of Shelby Park and Bottoms and the East Nasty running group.
"We also want to demonstrate that sustainability is about more than tree-hugging (not that there is anything wrong with that, we need those people too)," Shields said. "It is about improving the quality of life for us all, which means strengthening our community, availability of healthy foods, a strong and healthy environment and active and healthy bodies."
The Green Wagon is located at 1100 Forrest Avenue, Nashville. You can find them on this map or call them at 615.891.1878.
Marks improve for students in the Top Floor @ Stratford program
High School & College Director @ Stratford
Based on these services:
- 81% of students saw a letter grade increase in college prep classes (math, science, English, social studies, and foreign language). In total, 166 letter grade increases were seen. This is an average of 2.59 grade increases per student.
- 62% of students saw an increase in their math grades. On average, this was a 7.69% increase.
- 79% of students saw an increase in their science grades. On average, this was a 7.32% increase.
- 61% of students saw an increase in their English grades. On average, this was an 8.00% increase.
- 68% of students saw an increase in their social studies grades On average, this was an 8.52% increase.
- 68% saw an increase in their math scores. On average, this was an 8.23% increase.
- 83% saw an increase in their science scores. On average this was a 10% increase.
Youth staff prepares for THRIVE Summer Academy
By Penny Howard
Middle School Coordinator
Every summer thousands of parents and kids prepare to attend mind and body inspiring summer camps. Yet every summer many more students lack the ability to take advantage of these opportunities due to economic challenges.
Studies have shown that students who participate in academic-related activities during the summer months are more successful in the approaching school year. The greatest difference in students who are continuing to learn and build academic skills is the exposure to mind-stimulating activity during the eight-week school break.
It is this enrichment that the Martha O'Bryan Center's THRIVE Summer Academy will give students from the neighborhoods around Cayce Place, CWA Apartments and lower East Nashville. Our six-week program uses real-life applications on a K-8 grade level to help youth gain a better understanding of their society.
The students will participate in weekly physical and wellness activity, including tennis, golf and swimming. Additionally, they will participate in "Steps To A Healthier Nashville," which will calculate weekly distance/steps accumulated by students.
Secondly, thanks to Junior Achievement, we will participate in "Biz Town," a real-life replica of business in action. After completing a curriculum focusing on finance, needs vs. wants, entrepreneurship, careers and other aspects of business, students will complete a one-day training session. Ultimately, they will apply these skills as they operate a fictitious town that generates lifelong lessons about business and life.
As they are challenged to think in different ways, participate in new activities and engage in team building, the students will develop a confidence level that they can carry into every aspect of life.