CASE (Character and Skills Education) is an after-school program for middle school students in the McGavock school district of Metro Nashville schools. Through CASE, students gain an opportunity to receive academic tutoring and enrichment activities, free of charge. Since 2013, we have partnered with the Nashville After Zone Alliance to make our CASE program possible.


Johns Hopkins researcher Dr. Robert Balfanz has recognized a special "middle school moment" during which it is crucial for intensive support to occur, otherwise, it becomes much harder to “turn kids around and put them back on track.” According to his study, In high-poverty schools, if a sixth grade child attends less than 80 percent of the time, receives an unsatisfactory behavior grade in a core course, or fails math or English, there is a 75 percent chance that they will later drop out of high school — absent effective intervention. What does that effective intervention look like? An adult "counterforce" - someone in the students’ lives who reminds them every day that they're excited to see them, that they can succeed at school, and the ways that schooling leads to a good future." CASE offers students healthy role models and caring adults who believe in their potential. 

Nashville mirrors the national statistic that black male students are THREE times as likely to be suspended from school than white students. Black students who are suspended are less likely to graduate and, nationally, 68 percent of all black males without a diploma do time in prison.

Our initial interest in beginning this program was to benefit the children in the Hopewell neighborhood (the neighborhood of G.O.D. Int'l headquarters). We met and grew in relationship with many of these kids through our summer program, Camp Skillz. CASE became a way to continue giving opportunities to this same group of kids throughout the year. In 2013, we began the program serving 12 kids at one site. Now, in our 5th year, we have expanded our program to 5 different sites, serving 80 students from DuPont Hadley Middle, Dupont Tyler Middle, and Donelson Middle. One of our new sites, ArtLab, is dedicated to creative and performance arts. 

We recognize that middle school is an important moment in the life of a student--the time when they decide what kind of student they will become, or whether or not they will stick it out at all. Our program seeks to instill habits to ensure academic success while at the same time introducing students to healthy role models and productive ways to spend their time. Kids who formerly would go home after school to play video games, wander the neighborhood, or spend time alone are now given the opportunity to do things like grow food, learn woodworking, follow a recipe, create jewelry, learn magic tricks, memorize a dance routine and more.

We love our students and have been blessed to watch them grow academically as well as socially as they create new friends through such fun experiences. Through a quality volunteer force, our students feel welcomed and supported, physically and emotionally safe, as we challenge them to develop social skills through collaborative projects that require cooperation and communication.



CASE in Photos



CASE on the BLOG


interested in your child attending case,
or volunteering with this program? 


401 Center St. Old Hickory, TN 37138, (615).722.7107