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Parent Actions

Calling All Parents!

We believe that advocacy is at its best when it is being led by the people who house the most power. In our case, it’s parents. As a parent, we believe that you should be informed, empowered and actively engaged in the educational process of your child.

On this page, we hope that you will discover an action that will spark your interest and compel you to join arms with Nashville Rise and our advocacy efforts to ensure that your family has access to high-quality educational options that ultimately prepares your child to graduate college and career ready!


Actions Taken

  • May 2018 Knowledge is Power Training –
    May 19, 2018

    On Saturday, May 19th, Nashville Rise partnered with the Special Education Advocacy Center to kick-off our Knowledge is Power training sessions. These sessions are designed to teach the basics of special education and give parents the tools they need to effectively advocate for their children in the special education process. To begin the session, parents engaged in an icebreaker to gauge just how much they knew about being a parent advocate when you have a child with a disability. The icebreaker was a great conversation starter for parents to get to know other parents in the room. Nashville Rise parent, Kelly Eguakun stated, I’m here today to dispel the stigma on special education in the African American community.” Newly engaged parent, Kristan Gordon said, “I’m here to help those who were once where I was.” Parents took a deep dive into the guide to special education. After information overload, parents had the opportunity to split off into groups and role play real life scenarios in order to put into play what they had learned. Parents, grandparents, caregivers and friends who were in attendance left feeling empowered and informed. Don’t miss our next session Saturday, May 26th, we hope to see you there!

  • February 2018 Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Workshop –
    February 17, 2018

    On Saturday, February 17, parents attended The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Workshop. The workshop was hosted by Karla Coleman Garcia, Conexión Américas Associate Director of Policy & Advocacy. The purpose of the workshop was to inform parents about the Tennessee’s plan for Every Student Succeeds Act; how to share that information with other parents; and how to support schools turnaround efforts. Annie Poag was one of the parents in attendance. She was overwhelmed with excitement as she discussed how empowered she felt after the workshop. Another parent in attendance stated, “I can’t wait to take this information back to my community and talk to parents about what we need to do in order to be involved in the school turnaround process. And even if my child’s school is doing well, I want to be an advocate not just for her school, but also for the schools who don’t have advocates.” At the conclusion of the workshop, all attendees committed to hosting a house meeting to inform other parents in their communities on how to become involved in the school turnaround process.

  • January 2018 Nashville Rise Parent Engagement Event –
    January 20, 2018

    On Saturday, January 20, several of Nashville Rise’s newly engaged parents attended the Re-Engagement event. At this event, we discussed Nashville Rise’s plans for 2018, gathered input about future trainings and events, and discussed ways parents could get involved in the movement. Parents were excited about the opportunity to engage with other parents and be a part of the decision making. At the conclusion of the meeting, all parents committed to attending the next meeting February 17th.
  • December 2017 Nashville Rise Re-engagement Telethon –
    December 2, 2017

    Since re-launching as our own entity back in October 2017, our immediate and primary goal is to be more intentional with cultivating long-standing relationships that we’ve built in the past, and to begin building new ones. We recognize how important it is that all students receive equal access to a quality education, it is also equally important that the parent voice be involved in the process. Saturday, December 2, 2017, several of Nashville Rise’s parent advocates gathered together to participate in Nashville Rise’s first ever Re-engagement Telethon. During their time together they reached out to about 360 parents/guardians who have shown interest in Nashville Rise at a previous event, meeting, or in-the-field contact. The purpose of them calling was to let parents know about changes to Nashville Rise and invite them to the first parent meeting January 2018. Nashville Rise parent advocacy leaders are so excited about what Nashville Rise has in store! Stay tuned!
  • November 2017 Nashville Teacher Residency Parent Panel –
    November 7, 2017

    On Tuesday, November 7, 2017, seven of Nashville Rise’s parent advocates served on the Nashville Teacher Residency parent panel. Parents went before NTR’s current residents to discuss best practices on becoming allies with parents/families. The discussion began with parents sharing their expereinces with successful parent/teacher relationships, what those relationships looked like and why having a strong parent/teacher relationship was important. Among the parents in attendance was Annie Poag, mother of three children. Annie stated, “I appreciate the hard work the teachers at my daughters school put in, I love that they are willing to communicate with me and work to ensure that my daughter is successful both inside and outside of the classroom.” The night ended with both the residents and the parents leaving with a clearer understanding of how to make a parent/teacher relationship thrive. Nashville Rise would like to personally thank the Nashville Teacher Residency program for giving parents an opportunity to learn what parents can do to help teachers, as well as what teachers can do to help parents.
  • October 2017 Nashville Rise Board Meeting –
    October 30, 2017

    Earlier this month, parents were excited to announce Nashville Rise’s next step. As of October 1, 2017, Nashville Rise transitioned from being a program of Project Renaissance to becoming its own independent, volunteer-led nonprofit organization. Current parent leaders will fill leadership positions and drive and lead parent advocacy efforts in Nashville. On Monday, October 30,2017 Nashville Rise Board Members convened to discuss the organizations advocacy efforts for 2017-2018. After reviewing the mission, vision and core values, the board planned Nashville Rise’s next steps. Once the strategic plan is finalized, board members will meet with the rest of the group to discuss carrying out Nashville Rise’s plan.
  • September 2017 Parent Advocacy Leader Meeting –
    September 28, 2017

    On Thursday, September 28, seven of our parent advocates along with Nicole Valentine from Two Rivers Middle took time out of their busy schedules to attend a reading clinic. During the training session, parents received tools and tips to help their students, as well as other students to excel in reading. Parent Advocacy Leader, Ajay Moore was one of the parents in attendance. Ajay was overwhelmed with excitement as she discussed how empowered she felt after the training. “I joined Nashville Rise because they were a team of people that seemed sincere about helping ALL of Nashville’s children. I’m so happy that I was able to attend this training session tonight. I not only feel empowered, but I feel confident enough to take the information I learned and train others in my community to help our children.” At the conclusion of the session, each parent agreed to tutor a student in need, as well as share the information learned with other parents in their communities.
  • May 2017 Parent Empowerment Session –
    May 18, 2017

    On Thursday, May 18, some of our newly engaged parents and grandparents attended the parent empowerment session Building a Win-Win Relationship with Your Child’s Teacher at Brick Church College Prep. Each parent had the opportunity to discuss the importance of a positive parent/teacher relationship and why it is critical to maintain that relationship. During the training, each parent thought about what type of parent/teacher relationship she would like to have with their child’s teacher during the upcoming school year. At the conclusion of the session, each parent wrote a letter to her child’s future teacher and read it to the group.
  • May 2017 Parent Advocacy Leader Meeting –
    May 17, 2017

    On Wednesday, May 17, we held our first PALs meeting! What is a PAL? A PAL or Parent Advocacy Leader is a person who is chosen because of the outstanding leadership potential they have demonstrated in advocating for all children in Davidson County. PALs participate in a series of six workshops that are designed to provide a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities in education. The trainings are designed to build skills in organizing and mobilizing and to provide advocacy tools. Congratulations to the six parents and two grandparents that were chosen for our first series of PALs trainings.
  • May 2017 Parent Empowerment Session –
    May 4, 2017

    On Thursday, May 4, Each child has his or her own learning style. In Discovering What Makes Your Child Tick parents learn just that! On May 4, Organizer Ariba Qureshi led this session for 15 parents at Explore! Community School. What did parents have to say about the session? “I’ve learned today how to engage my child and give more personal responsibility to my child.” – Parent participant
  • May 2017 Parent Empowerment Session –
    May 2, 2017

    On Tuesday, May 2, Nashville Rise’s Lead Organizer, Allison Simpson, led the parent empowerment session: Developing a Win-Win Relationship with your Child’s Teacher at Warner Elementary School. Parent attendees were excited to learn ways to not only communicate with their children’s teachers, but also to build a strong and respectful relationship to ensure that their children succeed in the classroom. It was a great night!
  • May 2017 Parent Empowerment Session –
    May 2, 2017

    On Tuesday, May 2, Nashville Rise had the great privilege of engaging approximately 30 parents at local nonprofit BackField in Motion. Attendees participated in the parent empowerment session: Discovering What Makes Your Child Tick which was led by Nashville Rise’s Director Neonta Williams. Parents were excited to learn about their respective personality styles as well as those of their children. Attendees participated in great exchanges while gaining tools to best support their children based on their unique learning styles. Nashville Rise is grateful to have partnered with Backfield in Motion, and we look forward to returning next month for a follow up session!
  • April 2017 Parent Empowerment Session –
    April 20, 2017

    On Thursday, April 20, Nashville Rise hosted the parent empowerment session, Discovering What Makes Your Child Tick in the Napier and Sudekum community. This session’s information and activities helped parents understand their own learning style and the learning styles of their children. Parents learned how their child’s individual learning style can impact their classroom and educational experience. Further, parents left with steps that they could use with their children at home and how they could talk to their child’s teacher about how their child learns.
  • April 2017 Parent Empowerment Session –
    April 13, 2017

    On Thursday, April 13, parents gathered together at Brick Church College Prep to learn about the different behavioral styles of children and how these styles influence a child’s learning. The session, Discovering What Makes Your Child Tick,  equipped parents with tools to better assist their child’s learning journey.
  • April 2017 School Board Meeting Public Comment – April 11, 2017
    Each month parents from Nashville Rise address the nine members of the board including Dr. Joseph to let them know that we pride ourselves in our strong and respectful relationships. We believe that our vision will become a reality if transparency governs our work and we are able to collaborate with other organizations and MNPS. On Tuesday, April 11, 2017 two parents, Quanita Adams and Kelley Eguakun spoke on behalf of Nashville Rise. Kelley spoke about the importance of parent involvement and why she became involved with Nashville Rise. “I became involved with Nashville Rise because they are on a mission to help parents and guardians find ways to become active in schools. Nashville Rise has given me the opportunity reach other parents to help them understand the importance of being involved in all aspects of the education process.”Quanita took a different approach stating, “Many of us believe that in the past our socioeconomic status and ethnic affiliations have kept us from the conversation or that we have been talked at but not seen as valid or important stakeholders in the process that directly impact the children that are struggling the most.”
  • March 2017 School Board Meeting Public Comment – March 28, 2017
    On Tuesday, March 28, Nashville Rise member, Sylvia Holt addressed the Metro Nashville School Board during the public comment section of the meeting. Sylvia told her personal educational story and discussed why she joined Nashville Rise. At the end of her speech Sylvia stated, “I challenge the board and everyone here today to join us and advocate together to increase access to high-quality educational options for every child regardless of their zip code and/or race.”
  • February 2017 School Board Meeting Public Comment – February 28, 2017
    On Tuesday, February 28, Nashville Rise Clergy Liaison, Pastor James Turner and Clergy Coalition member, Minister Devan T. Franklin, addressed the Metro Nashville School Board from the position of faith leaders being committed to working with the district as well as parents and congregants at large to ensure that all children, regardless of zip code, have access to a high-quality education. Neonta Williams, also addressed the board highlighting Nashville Rise’s commitment to strong and respectful relationships. All Nashville Rise speakers emphasized that we (parents, teachers and district leaders) are in this work together.
  • January 2017 Nashville Rise Parent Meeting – January 31, 2017
    On Tuesday, January 31, Nashville Rise core parents reconvened to discuss their advocacy efforts in 2017. After reviewing the mission, vision and core values, they planned their next steps including participating in a five part training series to become parent advocate leaders.
  • January 2017 School Board Meeting Public Comment – January 10, 2017
    On Tuesday, January 10, parents addressed the Metro Nashville School Board asking for more collaboration between school types so that high-quality school practices can be replicated and shared. Parents also addressed the need to protect high-quality choices in the district. Nashville Rise will continue to advocate for high-quality public schools at future school board meetings.
  • December 2016 School Board Meeting Public Comment – December 10, 2016
    On Tuesday, December 10, seven parents spoke at the Metro Nashville School Board meeting to highlight the need for more high-quality school options. The parents spoke in the face of resolutions seeking to put a ban on charter school growth.
  • Nashville Rise Training on High-Quality Choices – December 3, 2016
    On Saturday, December 3, Nashville Rise parents attended a training on high-quality school choices. The day’s training agenda will inform, empower and engage parents in several ways and show them how they can be stronger advocates for high-quality schools in Davidson County.
  • November 2016 School Board Meeting Public Comment – November 29, 2016
    On Tuesday, November 29, three Nashville Rise parents addressed the Metro Nashville School Board members during the public comments section of the meeting. Going forward, parents plan to address the school board each month to ask for more high-quality school choices in the district and to ensure that parent voice is included in education policy conversations.

Parent Spotlight

  • Teade Tagaloa

    Nashville Rise Parent

    “Nashville Rise provided me with the opportunity to meet other parents who were facing similar issues. Through attending meetings and engaging in community activities, I became empowered. I learned things about the school system I never knew. I became an even bigger advocate for my son’s school, as well as for schools in my area.”

  • Toya Werkheiser

    Nashville Rise Parent

    “My goal is to ensure every child’s educational needs are met through empowering the child’s parents and leaving them feeling confident enough to elevate their voices around advocating for change.

  • Angelica Lucas

    Nashville Rise Parent

    “My wish was to align myself with individuals that have the same passion and drive that I have in ensuring no matter the demographics, background, or circumstances all children would receive quality education and wrap-around services.”

  • Quanita Adams

    Nashville Rise Parent

    “I want my children to have access to the best education. My zip code should not decide the quality of education my children receive.”

  • Kim Whitaker

    Nashville Rise Parent

    “We are tired of waiting for the district and the board to adopt an attitude of collaboration among schools. We realize that the change has to begin with us – the parents.”

  • Victoria Gordon

    Nashville Rise Parent

    “It wasn’t until Malik came that I realized I needed to advocate for this child…So, I advocate for Malik, and not just for Malik, but for everyone. That is why I came to Nashville Rise because I can advocate for every child.”