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  ·  

We are a Promise Neighborhood

What is a Promise Neighborhood?

Federal Promise Neighborhoods serve to vastly improve the educational and developmental outcomes of children and youth in the most distressed communities found throughout the United States. Through improved outcomes, the communities themselves will be transformed into more healthy and prosperous areas.

NAZ as a Promise Neighborhood

In December 2011, NAZ received a $28-million Promise Neighborhood Implementation grant from the U.S. Department of Education. This funding provides the seed money needed to scale up our successful pilot. Our goal is to increase our enrollment from 150 pilot families in 2011 to 1,000 families with 2,500 children in 2015/2016. We are working with funders across the region and the country to support the sustainability of our work into the future.

For more information on the Promise Neighborhood Program, please visit the U.S Department of Education’s website.

NAZ Promise Neighborhood Grant Application