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  ·  


NAZ is a Collaborative of Nonprofits and Schools

Through NAZ, the community and multi-sector, cross-agency leaders have responded to a call to action. We have aligned our organizations and systems to support the same group of NAZ-enrolled parents and children.

Anchor Partners

NAZ Anchor partners are at the core of our collaborative. Each provides a critical component of our best-practice supports from pre-natal through college. Partners coordinate services around family and student Achievement Plans through the NAZ Connect data system, and work together in our learning community Action Teams.

These are ways our partner nonprofits and schools collaborate:

  • Shared goals
  • Shared data system: NAZ Connect
  • Staff co-location
  • Evidence-based NAZ Results Plans
  • Leading policy change
  • Working in Action Teams

All NAZ partners are adopting evidence-based practices called NAZ Results Plans for each of these action areas:

Early Childhood

K-12 Schools

Expanded Learning/Out-of-School Time (OST)



Career & Finance


Other NAZ Partners

These partners serve as a referral source for NAZ families with specific needs, they play a role on our Action Team learning communities, and/or provide capacity support to NAZ.