|First Center Achieves Certified (Level 2) Center Classification|
Nashville, Tennessee—In October, the CWA-Cayce Community Learning Center became the first Certified Neighborhood Networks center. For a center to advance to this second of three levels of center classification, it must have achieved Designated (Level 1) status prior to application for Certified status, have a HUD-approved business plan using START, have been operational for 12 consecutive months, and have a HUD-accepted Center Assessment and Evaluation using START. The center must also demonstrate that it actively operates programs designed to support residents’ self-sufficiency.
“Achieving this level of center classification shows our funders and partners that we are dedicated to providing programs that meet residents’ needs, and we do so with a certain level of efficiency,” says Rebecca Foy, center director for the CWA-Cayce Community Learning Center. “It also requires a certain level of accountability and helps us measure our success.”
And, if Foy ever needs further confirmation of the success of CWA-Cayce Community Learning Center’s programs, a quick review of the center’s participant rosters solidifies the critical role the center plays in moving residents toward self-sufficiency.
Business is Booming with the Backpack Brigade
Each weekday from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., more than 55 students in grades K through 12 participate in the afterschool program offered at the CWA-Cayce Community Learning Center. To ensure that students are provided with ample guidance and support, Foy and the center’s part-time education coordinator have enlisted the help of a team of volunteers.
“Our number one priority is to make sure that students complete their homework and that it makes it back in the backpack for the next school day,” says Foy. “We also stay in touch with the students’ teachers and plan activities that reinforce and enhance what the students are learning in school.”
Students are also divided into small, grade-appropriate groups for reading exercises and enrichment activities, such as using play money to practice counting and completing phonics activities and worksheets.
A List for Language Lessons
Another popular program at the CWA-Cayce Community Learning Center is the English as a Second Language (ESL) class. By partnering with the National Adult Literacy Council, Foy is able to offer a class that meets three mornings a week for two hours at a time. The class is aimed at residents who are new to the United States and focuses on teaching “survival English.”
“For each class, we can enroll up to 15 students,” says Foy, “and we have a waiting list for the next few sessions of the class.”
Bringing It to the Next Level
While Foy is pleased that the CWA-Cayce Community Learning Center has been recognized as a Level 2 Neighborhood Networks center, she has set her sights on achieving Level 3 (Model) status before HUD’s December 31, 2005, deadline that allows Level 2 centers to immediately apply for Level 3 status via START.
“I have almost completed our submission for Model status,” says Foy. “The December 31st deadline is a good incentive to apply because if we do not achieve Model status, we will have to wait a year to apply again—and we really do not want to do that. It is important to us to share our accomplishments and new status with our partners and residents.”
For more information on Neighborhood Networks Centers in Tennessee, contact:
Carolyn A. Davis
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development—Nashville Field Office
235 Cumberland Bend Drive
Nashville, TN 37228
Phone: (615) 736–5069
For more information about the CWA-Cayce Community Learning Center, contact:
CWA-Cayce Community Learning Center
522 South 5th Street
Nashville, TN 37206
Phone: (615) 248–4029
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Department of Housing and Urban
451 7th Street S.W.,
Washington, DC 20410
708-1112 TTY: (202)