May 9, 2024

Spotlight on NAZA


Nashville After Zone Alliance (NAZA) is a partnership between Nashville Public Library, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Metro Parks and the Mayor’s Office, and over 30 youth development organizations, aiming to increase equitable access to out-of-school time learning experiences for youth. NAZA achieves this by investing in afterschool and summer programs, enhancing the capacity of youth-serving organizations, advocating for increased investment in youth development, and empowering youth through leadership and life skill initiatives.  

NAZA takes pride in several key initiatives aimed at empowering Nashville’s youth. Firstly, NAZA is committed to implementing Nashville’s Vision for Holistic Youth Development, focusing on equipping young individuals with lifelong skills vital for success in education, career, and life. Additionally, NAZA is dedicated to fostering youth leadership through the “Youth in Action!” program, which empowers young people to initiate and lead projects that align with their passions while engaging in policy discussions on both local and national levels. Furthermore, NAZA is proud to support and pilot mentorship programs for justice-involved youth, offering guidance and resources to navigate challenges within the justice system and reconnect with their communities, schools, and ultimately make positive life choices. 

Last month, NAZA’s partners welcomed players, coaches, and mascots from the English Premier League Football team, providing an exciting opportunity for youth to engage in soccer drills and games alongside professionals. The event, which included donations of soccer balls to each program, was highly praised by both youth and adults, fostering a sense of teamwork and excitement among participants. Reflecting on the event, Diane Uwamahoro, Coordinator of Middle School Success at Nations Ministry Center, remarked, “Our students fall into two categories: those who live and breathe soccer and those who haven’t yet discovered the joy of playing on a pitch. The Premier League Kicks event united the two groups, giving every student a chance to learn and play. The Coaches were phenomenal! They quickly spotted the natural talent our students possessed. They encouraged the quick learners and broke down essential skills for everyone … Looking through the photos, I smile seeing the huge smiles on my students’ faces. I don’t think we can top this experience.” This is just one of the many incredible opportunities made possible by NAZA to empower Nashville’s youth. 

As the school year wraps up, over 1,500 youth engaged in NAZA-funded afterschool programs, where 2024 youth survey (see chart 1) indicates high satisfaction levels. Now, enrollment for NAZA-funded summer programs is open, providing free opportunities for Nashville and Davidson County youth entering grades 5-9. With 23 program sites across Davidson County, parents can easily find and register their child for the ideal summer program. Follow the link below for more information. 

Chart 1

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