Project Transformation Announces Partnership with Nashville After Zone Alliance
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- September 18, 2018 – Project Transformation is pleased to announce a new partnership with Nashville After Zone Alliance (NAZA). In July, Project Transformation was named a NAZA Anchor Partner and received base funding to expand its existing afterschool program to serve middle school students from Thurgood Marshall and other Antioch area middle schools at Antioch United Methodist Church.
Created by Nashville Mayor Karl Dean in 2010 as an afterschool system for middle school youth in order to increase learning opportunities for young people and support their development, NAZA is a nationally recognized system of free, high quality afterschool programs for middle school students who cannot access afterschool enrichment programs due to cost or transportation issues. Anchor partners, like Project Transformation, deliver their own programs at selected sites and must commit to established program quality standards. They also agree to participate in professional development and formal assessment aimed at program improvement.
“We want to see every child in our program children graduate high school, go on to college, and return to serve as a PT intern themselves someday” says Courtney Aldrich, Executive Director of Project Transformation Tennessee. “This new partnership with NAZA will grow our capacity to support our students as they navigate middle school and beyond.”
Project Transformation is one of 23 anchor partners supported by NAZA. Collectively, NAZA partners will engage over 1,130 students in afterschool programs across Davidson County this school year.
“Through funding afterschool programs, NAZA hopes to create truly unique learning experiences for the young people in Nashville as part of their informal learning process,” said Anna Harutyunyan, NAZA Coordinator. “Our goal is to engage the 21st century youth in creative learning, positive behaviors, and healthy choices, helping them learn new skills, build a purpose around everything they do, and get interested and engaged in education and career.“
Project Transformation’s afterschool program for youth grades 5-8 is designed thematically for a holistic learning experience. Each day, participants complete their homework with the help of college-age interns and engage in activities to build leadership qualities, encourage positive communication, and facilitate growth of relationships. Activities include media literacy, personal growth, interactive science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), as well as breakout clubs reflecting youth interest.
“The program is designed to give students voice and choice through relationships while connecting them with the community” says William Parker, Program Manager at Project Transformation who joined the organization in May 2018. Parker holds a Master of Arts in Youth Ministry from Memphis Theological Seminary, and will oversee Project Transformation’s NAZA partnership.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with NAZA and Project Transformation to help provide an afterschool program for middle school students in our community,” said the Rev. James Cole, pastor at Antioch United Methodist Church. “Through this ministry we have the privilege of connecting with students and their families, providing a safe space for them to continue learning and gaining important life skills in a positive and fun environment. The relationships created through this partnership will be deeply impactful for the students, their families, our church, and our community.”
In addition to the middle school afterschool program, Project Transformation will operate three elementary afterschool programs in Antioch, East Nashville, and Madison.
About Project Transformation
The mission of Project Transformation is to engage young adults in purposeful leadership and ministry, support children in holistic development, and connect churches with communities.
To learn more about Project Transformation, visit www.pttennessee.org or call (615) 810-9620.
The Project Transformation afterschool middle school program serving Thurgood Marshall Middle School students at Antioch United Methodist Church is a program of the Nashville After Zone Alliance. The Nashville After Zone Alliance is an out-of-school-time network that funds afterschool programs for Metro’s middle-school students and helps community partners to build capacity in delivering high quality programs. NAZA is a partnership among the Mayor’s Office, Nashville Public Library, MNPS, and other existing youth-serving groups.
To learn more about NAZA, visit nashvillez.org.