Kanke | NAZ Academic Specialist located at PCYC

"At first, all of the scholars were trying to see who I was ...

One scholar was very resistant toward me, and toward a lot of things. Challenging behavior often shows up because the coursework is too difficult and the child tends to act out. It's not that they're a bad kid, but no one has had the time to stop and see what a kid needs.

One day, he brought his football, and I said: 'let's go to the gym' — knowing he was struggling with sight words. So we threw the ball back and for and spelled 'all' — A-L-L. That became our rhythm.

Now, he has a new way to learn. The classroom doesn't always work for everybody; sometimes we have to switch it up. And I really appreciate the opportunity to bring my creativity.

He's able to do both now — work in the gym and in the classroom space. What I'm able to do is build up his confidence in himself and in his reading. And he's doing it!

A lot of the staff a PCYC work in the field of social work, and they use the term 'hire.' And this scholar we're talking about hired me. It's a trust, someone he can trust and go to.

What I walk forward with is that connection with him. He knows we're on it — both of us. It's like 'Hey Ms. Kanke, we haven't met this week' and I'm like 'I'm coming for you; I got you.'

That's my guy. There was a lot of kicking and screaming at the beginning ... but he's the funniest and he's so loving and I wish everyone could see that."

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3 days ago  ·  

Parents are Leading Community Transformation

How NAZ Partners with Parents

NAZ is turning the social service model on its head. Families are shifting from perennial recipients of services to leaders of a culture shift toward a college-going community on the Northside. We believe a culture of achievement can only be built from within the community—one family at a time. Parents partner with NAZ at every step in their child’s path to college:

  • Parents sign a “College Bound Commitment” pledging to make college a top family priority.
  • They partner one-on-one with a NAZ Family Achievement Coach to set and reach goals that support college readiness (Achievement Plans).
  • Specialized support is provided by NAZ Specialists and our partner organizations to stabilize households through housing services, career & finance training, and behavioral health counseling.
  • Parents take NAZ Family Academy empowerment and education classes.
  • A team of parent leaders are selected to serve on the NAZ Parent Advisory Board.

The Belief Gap

Northside families have experienced multigenerational poverty and an egregious achievement gap. The result is a “belief gap.” Through NAZ, parents are beginning to believe their children are worthy of a college education and they are partnering with their NAZ Family Achievement Coach to take new actions that put their entire family on a trajectory toward success. We target the hardest-to-reach parents who have not traditionally been involved with promoting academic success in their community and partner with them one on one. As we scale up to enroll 1,000 Northside families, their individual successes become the culture of the community, leading population-level change.