Celebrating Student Success

CASE 2015-2016 photo and video wrap up

Photos by Aaron Montgomery
Video by Chris Cameron

With the end of the school semester soon approaching, we wrapped up our second successful year of C.A.S.E. (a free after-school academics program for students of neighboring Dupont Hadley Middle School).  Student Yancey served as the emcee of the event, practicing good eye contact, posture and volume, all things coached to him by our tutors. He did great, and looked good too! 


At our program, tutors adopt students who they work with on a regular and long-term basis. This helps establish a system of trust and ensures every student has a specific tutor celebrating each success with them. Here, Hopewell Site Coordinator Jeff Sherrod works on homework with his student, Ethan. The bond they have formed is one neither of them will forget. 


Amanda Byrd is one of many Institute for G.O.D. students who volunteer their time as a C.A.S.E. tutor. Not being far removed from junior high themselves, our college students are able to give students healthy role models, not just in academics but in life. 


In addition to tutoring, students have an enrichment hour that exposes them to a wide variety of experiences, from activities like electrical wiring to jewelry making to dance. This particular activity, carried out by volunteering electrician from MCH Nashville, was a boys-only activity, which the students loved. They created electrical circuits to power lights, learning how switches worked by connecting them to power outlets! 


Both of our sites (Hopewell and Dupont-Hadley) expose students to food production, but Hopewell has the added bonus of being located right next to G.O.D.'s community garden which is home to nearly 100 chickens. Collecting eggs is definitely a novelty to students who aren't regularly exposed to livestock or even sources of food. They had to get over their squeamishness regarding getting hens out of the way, in order to collect the eggs they needed for their cooking project. 


Cooking was the favorite activity of the semester at the Hopewell site. Throughout the semester Emily Alvarez, another Institute student, taught about the concepts of locality and seasonality in regards to food choices. Together, they prioritized recipes based on local ingredients, like making omelettes from the eggs they collected or fresh salsa from the garden. Other important lessons included utilizing their math skills in the multiplication of ingredient ratios and, pictured here, the options available for sugar substitutes. 

Dupont-Hadley Site Coordinator Craig Duffy watches as students work with iPads for the first time. The iPads were a celebrated new addition to C.A.S.E. this semester. Though the students were disappointed they couldn't take the device home with them, they offered a new level of engagement during the homework hour. 


The skills needed to excel in life don't just reside in the academic sphere, nor even in additional practical capacities, but also social ones. Team-building exercises like this game helps develop social awareness, collaborative skills, and friendships, which our tutors cheer loudly for! 

During their final day, students hosted parents at a "ShowCASE" of all they had learned. Students set up the event, served food (homemade pizza) they prepared to their parents and enjoyed a banquet together. Tutors presented each student with superlatives related to their success and improvement throughout the semester. Parents, tutors and students were all filled with pride over what they had learned throughout the year--a truly special time! 


Thank you students for a wonderful year together. We're so proud of you!