The Nashville After Zone Alliance (NAZA), launched by Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, is working to improve Nashville's high school graduation rate by reaching out to middle school students begfore they fall behind. NAZA is now a nationally recognized system of free, high-quality after school programs that give underserved middle school students academic supports and new creative outlets.
Martha O'Bryan Center was the first coordinating agency in this initiative and coordinates programs in the Northeast Zone: Stratford, Maplewood, and Hunter's Lane clusters. In July 2014, NAZA became a part of the Nashville Public Library's Community Outreach programs.
NAZA creates a safe place for middle school students to express themselves and learn that their opinions are valued and their actions matter. Students build meaningful relationships with caring adults and with their peers, improving their self-esteem and setting them up for success. And it's working: Students' reading skills have risen, along with their feelings of safety and security.
Through NAZA's coordinated system, it costs only $1,000 to engage a young person in a quality after school program during the school year. NAZA provides the support middle school students need today, so that they can succeed in high school and beyond. In East Nashville, NAZA's goal is to increase by 300 the number of affordable, accessible, high-quality after school program slots to families and middle school students in the Stratford, Maplewood, and Hunters Lane clusters, more than double the number of available previous to the introduction of NAZA.
Martha O'Bryan Center currently operates NAZA programs at Litton and Bailey Middle Schools and coordinates programs throughout the Northeast Zone.
created by a student at MOBC's NAZA site at Litton Middle School