New private school in Nashville goes beyond the classroom

Posted at 6:38 AM, Feb 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-14 07:38:04-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — After years of volunteering with students in Nashville, a few mentors want to take education to the next level. They plan to open a non-profit private school in East Nashville.

Leaders Reaching for Success Academy is designed to help improve the lives of all students. School leaders say some important life skills are missing when educating students, especially those of color.

Each day, tens of thousands of students learn English, math, and science in the classroom. However, some of them say they just aren't interested.

"We really don't do anything," Michaela Hills says. "It could be better if there was more help towards each student, not just certain students."

That's partly because they're not studying things they want to do after graduation. So, students like Cylas Crawford plan on attending Leaders Reaching for Success Academy this coming fall.

"I really like computers," Cylas Crawford says. "I like coding stuff. I like coding drones and robots that type of stuff. So, I hope to have a career with that."

Right now the school is under renovation. But, once it's open, students like Cylas will learn here in the Computer Corner. Academy Director, Alexis Bassham, says basic classes will be taught, but with all learning styles in mind.

"Visual learners tangible learners and things of that sort," Alexis Bassham says. "So when we go about teaching them yes we’re going to have our basic classes. However, they’re gonna be taught in a whole different way."

Kaylah Stewart, the founder of the school, says she wants to go beyond the classroom and teach real-life skills.

"We are focusing on teaching students to be who they are," Kaylah Stewart says. "I think that that’s a key factor. Not even just knowing who they are, but also preparing them to be successful in their society."

Crystal Spencer has watched her daughter grow under Stewart's mentorship on the basketball court.

Spencer says it's important for kids to have been in an atmosphere that will give them that confidence to excel and go beyond their wildest dreams.

"It was amazing," Crystal Spencer says. "She met everyone on their level. She treated everyone the same. She got them to play as a team. She got them to talk, and they enjoyed it."

These are qualities Stewart plans to bring inside the school building. Leaders Reaching for Success plans to open its doors this September.