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."

#NorthFaceFriday
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3 days ago  ·  

What is NAZ?

A Results-Focused Collaborative

To improve the egregious disparities that face our community, “doing good work” is no longer enough for our organizations.

The NAZ collaborative is at the forefront of a next-generation nonprofit movement that focuses on getting results. We are a 501(c)3 federal Promise Neighborhood that operates as both an organization and a collaborative of more than 40 service providers and schools, supported through a public-private partnership.

Through NAZ, North Minneapolis is beginning a community-wide transformation toward a college-going culture. Parents are now making college a top family priority and taking effective action to support the success of their children, starting at birth. Nonprofits, public institutions, and schools are adopting evidence-based practices and working collaboratively to support the shared goal of college readiness. Together, we are leading innovative efforts to close the academic achievement gap for low-income children of color.

Each NAZ solution is designed to deliver measurable progress toward eradicating educational and social disparities—and to be easily replicated by communities across the nation.