Nashville, TNMar 4th, 2017 to Mar 11th, 2017
Trip Logistics & Participant Requirements:
We will be staying at Nashville Downtown Hostel. The hostel has amenities, such as a kitchen, laundry facilities, and lounges, which we plan to take full advantage of during the trip! We plan on leaving the morning of Saturday, March 4th, and driving the 8-9 hours to Nashville with a stop for lunch. We will be driving back to Charlottesville on the following Saturday, March 11th. Participants should be willing to learn some new skills, explore the beautiful city of Nashville, and make some great new friends!
We will be working with Nashville Tools For Schools, a non-profit organization that builds inexpensive, functional furniture for many of the lower-budget public schools in the area. The nature of our specific volunteer projects will largely depend on the needs of our partner organization at the time. We will be working Monday through Friday in the morning constructing things such as shelving and storage units for classrooms. NTFS is based out of Hillsboro High School, which is a 15 minute drive from our hostel.
Depending on the amount of time NTFS needs us to work, we may have time to serve another organization in the area. This organization, while currently undetermined, would also have a focus on helping students in Nashville.
Nashville is the capital of Tennessee and a well-known center for music. The Nashville Public School System has over 82,000 students in its 157 schools. It is very diverse, with over 120 countries represented in their student body. In recent years, Metro Nashville Public Schools has launched an initiative to decrease dropout rates, and the graduation rate has gone up 22% in the last nine years.
Like any city, Nashville has a population of citizens who live below the poverty line. As of April 2015, it is estimated that over 100,000 of Nashville’s residents live in poverty. We will be examining how improvements in the public school system can and have already impacted this issue.
Nashville Tools For Schools (NFTS) was started in 2006 and since then has worked with 64 public schools in Nashville. NFTS has been successful because of the strong support from volunteers who are passionate about the public education system. Many of the staff are born and raised “Nashvillians” or graduates of some of Nashville’s universities. NTFS is dedicated to providing the best possible learning environment for every student.
Nashville is a city with no shortage of things to do and places to explore! We plan on spending our first full day exploring the city and visiting exciting spots such as the Country Music Hall of Fame and the famous Studio B, where Elvis Presley recorded many of his hit songs. Some other activities we have planned for the rest of the week include visitng the historic home of Andrew Jackson, picnicing in Centennial Park, hiking at nearby lake Radnor, historic Fort Nashborough and the Parthenon, and of course, seeing some live music! In addition to cooking many of our meals,we also plan to get a taste of the culinary style of Nashville by eating at local restuarants.
About the Site Leaders:
Claire is a fourth year commerce student from Glen Rock, New Jersey. In her second year, she went on an awesome trip to Charleston, SC with ASB. She loves travelling, working with children, and eating her way through new cities, so she couldn’t be more excited to be leading this Nashville ASB trip! At UVa she is involved in Student Entrepreneurs for Economic Development (SEED), McIntire Mentors, and Enactus.
Kerri is a fourth year Sociology major from Goochland, Virginia. As of this spring, she will have participated in ASB all four years at UVA! She has travelled to Tuscaloosa, AL and Shenandoah, VA and has also led to Tallahassee, FL! She has a passion for exploring new cities through the people (and the food!), so she is very excited to be visiting Nashville for the first time through ASB. In her spare time, Kerri enjoys finding new running routes, reading, and feeding her coffee addiction!
Alternative Spring Break is such a unique experience. There is no other time in your life that you will be able to experience and serve a new culture alongside a group of your peers. The passion ASB participants have for service and for life in general truly creates such an open atmosphere for an unforgettable spring break. My ASB trips are some of the most positive and rewarding memories that I’ll have from my years at UVa.