Metro schools program partners with businesses to serve students - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Metro schools program partners with businesses to serve students

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Invitations from a Middle Tennessee nonprofit have been flooding area inboxes to drum up support for Metro Nashville Public Schools.

It's all part of a new initiative partnering businesses with schools that is serving as a national model.

Celia Conley, assistant principal at Antioch High School, said she's seen marked improvements in students ever since her school adopted the district's Community Achieves program.

"Students are more successful when they have their basic needs met. When they come to school with a full stomach, they know everything is OK at home. Their families are getting assistance. They're able to focus," Conley said.

Through the program, community schools like Antioch partner with various groups to provide for students and their family's needs, like food, clothes and housing.

On Monday, Second Harvest Food Bank Of Middle Tennessee opened a food pantry at the high school.

"One student told me mom saves food stamps at a certain point in the month because she's worried it might not last the rest of the month," said Nicole Hill, who oversees the Family Resource Center on campus, which serves some 4,000 students across the area.

It's been so successful at all 19 of the participating Metro schools, members of Alignment Nashville are busy trying to recruit more businesses by sending out about 3,000 emails in the past two weeks.

"Our job is really to align the resources and to pull everybody together to support the same goals for the schools and for our children," said Melissa Jaggers, with Alignment Nashville.

Those goals include health and wellness and preparing students for college by addressing each school's individual needs.

"We need everything from mentors to tutors to people to help organize drives," Hill said.

"When parents come in and they tell me, 'Well, I just lost my job.' I can immediately send them out there, and that day they're getting food to take home. That's huge," Jaggers said.

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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