IMG_5456 (1024x768)After four years of providing free summer enrichment programs for children in low-income communities in the Nashville area, Project Transformation Tennessee has completed its first year of afterschool programming.

The ministry served more than 100 children in grades 1-6 during the 2015-16 school year. Programs were held at two United Methodist churches and one public school in the Nashville communities of Antioch, Madison and East Nashville.

“Our after-school programs were a natural progression from the summer programs we’ve provided during the last four summers,” said Courtney Aldrich, executive director of the nonprofit organization. “The expansion allowed us to maintain year-long relationships in the communities we serve and to continue to invest in the lives of children entrusted to our care.”

Project Transformation’s afterschool programs focused on enriching mind and body with an emphasis on improving literacy skills in collaboration with the children’s schools and teachers. Based on assessments, 94 percent of the participating children improved their reading level during the year, with the remainder maintaining their reading level.

Programming was led by 13 college-age interns with the assistance of 115 community volunteers. The interns invested more than 7,000 hours of service, and all completed the experience reporting an increased interest in future community service with low-income communities

In addition to reading development, the Project Transformation sites provided the children with a safe and enriching environment and activities that included homework assistance, art enrichment, science and math exploration, healthy decision-making, and nutritional education.

Project Transformation Tennessee launched in 2012 in Nashville and has since expanded its summer programming to Memphis and Murfreesboro. Its mission is to engage young adults in purposeful leadership and ministry, support underserved children and families, and connect churches with communities in need.