News & Photos
Innovative United Way-led Partnership Raises Reading Scores Dramatically at Napier ElementaryJuly 13, 2012
School-Based Family Resource Center Prototype Will Be Expanded To Other Locations
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 12, 2012) – This time last year, reading scores at Napier Elementary School were among the lowest in the state. Thanks to an innovative partnership led by United Way of Metropolitan Nashville the school’s pilot program increased reading scores of more than 85 percent of participating students by 2.2 reading levels. Today, the organization and its partners unveiled a prototype Family Resource Center at Napier that builds on that success and holds promise for future expansion to other Family Resource Centers across Davidson County, United Way officials said.
Beginning on the first day of the most recent school year, United Way brought together Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, Napier’s leadership and faculty, Willis Foundation, employees of Willis North America’s Nashville office, the architectural firm Gresham, Smith and Partners, and United Way volunteers in the remarkable initiative that was celebrated today with a ribbon cutting which re-opens the Family Resource Center in southeast Nashville.
“This is a great example of the potential impact to be had on big issues in our community by bringing together the right resources and partners, with a focus on practical and effective solutions,” said Margaret Dolan, board chair of United Way of Metropolitan Nashville. “We are proud to be at Napier today to celebrate the larger potential of this Family Resource Center model in schools throughout the community.”
Results of Running Record assessments at the end of the school year showed that 85 percent of students tutored by their teachers, community volunteers, and Willis employees saw an increase in reading skills with an average increase of 2.2 reading levels. Napier has historically been one of the lowest performing schools in the state of Tennessee; however, there are good indicators that Napier’s Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) Achievement Test scores will see strong improvements this year.
The Willis Foundation announced it is donating $50,000 in raised funds to United Way to support the Family Resource Center at Napier. Today’s ribbon cutting revealed the remodeled Napier United Way Family Resource Center. Willis volunteers will continue to support the students, the school and the community through various engagement activities at the center that now bears the Willis name.
“We know other Nashville corporations are looking for effective ways to support the progress of schools in our community, just as Willis North America and our employees were,” says Terry Warren, Executive Director of the Willis Foundation. “When Willis made a commitment to Napier not only in dollars but also in volunteer time, we knew our employees and corporate partnership would allow us to collectively move the needle. Through the United Way Family Resource Centers model, United Way is uniquely able to help other corporate partners identify the many other opportunities to create partnerships that make a true and lasting impact in public schools.”