An innovative public-private partnership has raised scores at a South Nashville elementary school by nearly 85 percent.
The brand new classroom at Napier Elementary School is not for students but for the parents of students who attend the school.
"Children who come to this school have some of the greatest needs of any children you'll ever see," said Dr. Jesse Register Director of Metro Schools. "They are beautiful children, but they need more."
Realizing the challenge, the United Way of Metropolitan Nashville brought together a Nashville corporation and local architectural firm to provide more resources for Napier school and the community. What started as a welcome back for parents and students on the first day of school has blossomed into a renovated family resource center.
"When we created the Willis Foundation two years ago, [and] today was the sort of day we had in mind," said Todd Jones of the Willis Foundation. "This is what the foundation is about. This is what we're trying to do in the community."
Willis volunteers tutored students at Napier, which has historically been one of the lowest performing schools in the state.
The school's new resource center will meet many of the student's needs from school supplies to food and clothing.
"This is what you and I would think of as a community center for families whose kids go to Napier," said Eric Dewey of United Way. "When they come here they can get a lot of things addressed and they can focus of learning."
The United Way hopes the project at Napier Elementary will be a pilot program to repeat the success at other schools in the district.