Martha O'Bryan Center opens public charter school near Cayce Homes

Posted at 7:49 PM, Aug 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-02 20:49:10-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Explore! Community School marked a new start for families and their children.

The project-based learning school is in the heart of the James A. Cayce public housing neighborhood and operated by the Martha O'Bryan Center in East Nashville.

On Friday, enrolled students and their parents had a sneak peek of the new three-story building located at 711 South 7th St.

For mother Kendra Claybrooks, a resident of Cayce Homes, having her 7-year-old daughter join a mixed-income community matters.

"I'm glad because there's a lot of people who had transportation issues and stuff but it's right here," Claybrooks said.

Principal Stephanie Jarrett-Thorpe said the addition of the new K through 8 school near the growing public housing community was a priority.

"We have families in our school community that are from varying economic backgrounds so families that have more it's an understood in our school that they share what they can to help and our families who many not have as much material offer their support and time," Jarrett-Thorpe said.

500 students in grades K through 4 will attend. The school will add another grade every year until the eigth grade. FiftY-five percent of the students are children of color, 60 percent are at an economic disadvantage. But school leaders said all will be provided the same education.

"People get to know each other whether they live in Cayce or they live in East Nashville or North Nashville. I think that is what we need in our city and we also know how education is delivered to people is what they believe in themselves," president and CEO Marsha Edwards said.

Explore! Community is Martha O'Bryan Center's second public charter K-8.