The initiative focuses on high-needs elementary schools to create challenging learning opportunities for students by providing a nurturing environment supported by family, community volunteers, and staff.
The first community school was established at Pond Gap Elementary in 2010 with the help of Bob Kronick, a professor of educational psychology counseling in UT’s College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences.
“A lot of people from UT and Knox County Schools have worked diligently over a long period of time to make this happen for Inskip Elementary,” said Kronick. “We look forward to seeing positive growth in the school and the community. This kind of program positively challenges students and encourages parents to become more involved with their children and community.”
Beginning November 9, UT will provide physical education, music and tutoring services to the students at Inskip, utilizing a combination of faculty, staff, students, and community volunteers.
“One way we work to provide Excellence For Every Child is to facilitate high-quality student support,” said Jim McIntyre, superintendent of Knox County Schools. “When we partner with the broader academic community for programs like the University-Assisted Community Schools initiative, students benefit in immeasurable ways, and our district is more capable of preparing students for learning and success.”
To date, there are nine community schools within Knox County that are supported by either UT or the Great Schools Partnership. Most stay open into the evening and offer additional instructional time as well as recreational, arts, mental health, adult education, and other services.
The University-Assisted Community Schools program is seeking funding for its Monthly Meals with a Mission initiative through VOLstarter. To learn more about the project, visit tiny.utk.edu/K83x4.
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