NICE provides intergenerational, comprehensive education.
All of our educational programming is designed to empower New Americans to live better, healthier lives. To do this, we prepare participants to be self-actualized and reach their goals. Across content areas and for groups of all ages, we facilitate access to community resources, promote healthy behaviors by fostering stress coping mechanisms, educate about vocational opportunities, and improve literacy skills needed to navigate the public sphere.
Preschool and elementary aged children participate in free childcare offered during our adult English Language classes. While in this program, students enjoy activities, lessons, and special events designed to promote school readiness and reading readiness. They also learn about healthy relationships, behaviors, and decisions.
At McMurray and Margaret Allen Middle Schools, our NAZA-funded after school programs meet four days a week. Through art therapy, CATCH, academic interventions, and English as a Second Language lessons, our program staff work to mitigate the effects of interrupted education, cultural and language-based barriers.
During the school day, our Youth Program Coordinators step into classrooms throughout Nashville alongside Metro Nashville Public School teachers to provide direct support services. While our primary purpose is to aide often under-resourced teachers, NICE enriches the learning process with our English as a Second Language, civics, and literacy curriculum.
Refugee School Improvement
In partnership with Metro Nashville Public Schools and the Tennessee Office of Refugees, the Refugee School Improvement Grant (RSIG) supports New Americans as they learn to navigate the Tennessee school system. We do this by offering professional development for teachers, representing and advocating for our families across the district, and offering school orientation for all new arrivals.
English Literacy and Civics
Funded by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, NICE English Literacy and Civic Engagement classes help students actualize long term educational goals such as employment, higher education, naturalization, and improved family health. NICE operates seven different levels of English Language Learning classes ranging from beginning literacy to high intermediate at four locations across Nashville. We utilize the Ventures Series by Cambridge University Press, Burlington English distance education, and a wide range of materials used by teachers in the classrooms. Classes are offered during morning and evening hours. As part of this curriculum, NICE integrates community-minded workshops designed to create avenues of access to community resources such as the library, public transportation, police assistance, and medical care.
To begin the process of becoming an active citizen in the US, NICE offers citizenship classes that teach civics, American history, English, and interviewing skills. After registration, students are placed into appropriate class groups and receive citizenship instruction twice a week. The program also consists of site-based and class-based civic participation activities and practice USCIS examinations. Classes receive tours of key governmental and civic history sites from guest speakers along with group and individual tutoring.
Once clients are found to be ready to start the process of naturalization, Immigration Specialists are available to guide them through the process with cost-effective services. Clients receive assistance with applications, documentation, and filling out appropriate forms to become eligible for naturalization. Participants also receive ongoing case management and naturalization interview preparation services that support them from intake until oath ceremony. After successful naturalization, clients have access to services that prepare them to pass the citizenship test and become engaged in the American civic process.
Education Staff Contacts
Director of Education: Brandon White | firstname.lastname@example.org
Adult Education Manager: Ally Thomas | email@example.com
Youth Education Associate Manager: Halima Ingabire | firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteer and Training Coordinator: Elizabeth Harrington | email@example.com
Adult Education Student Coordinator: Fozia Ahmed | firstname.lastname@example.org
Adult Education Data Specialist: Sophiya Marsani | email@example.com
Adult Education Lead Instructor: Michelle Davenport | firstname.lastname@example.org
Adult Education Lead Instructor: Joey King | email@example.com
Adult Education Occupational and Training Specialist: Jody Sostrin | firstname.lastname@example.org
Adult Education Distance Education Coordinator: Caroline Davis | email@example.com
HiSET Reading and Writing Teacher: JoyceHeil | firstname.lastname@example.org
ESL Instructor: Tiffy Barnett | email@example.com
Education Data Coordinator: Jonathan Turner | firstname.lastname@example.org
Youth Mentorship Coordinator: Hanna Mwanse | email@example.com
NICE is a proud member of the GOAL Collective. The GOAL Collective’s mission is to triple the number of adults achieving their educational goals by 2025 and to create a network better able to serve more adult learners in Nashville.