Project Initiative

Family University

Family University, a partnership between Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) and Alignment Nashville, provides educational enrichment and a series of trainings to encourage, empower and equip MNPS families and caregivers with tools they need for success.  This program provides pathways for families to be effective partners and co-creators along with MNPS educators, school leaders, and Nashville community partners in their students’ success.

For more information about Family University, please visit the MNPS Family University website.


Kathryn Addison, MNPS

Kashonda Babb, MNPS

Ryan Gill, Alignment Nashville

Maria Heerdt, MNPS

Dr. Yolanda Jackson, MNPS

Deborah Olea, MNPS

Robert Robinson, Alignment Nashville

Morgan Tubbs, Alignment Nashville

Makeda Watson, MNPS


Family University at the Southeast Community Easter Egg Hunt - Saturday, March 23, 2024

On Saturday, March 23, the Family University team tabled at the annual Southeast Easter Egg Hunt in Antioch. This beloved community event drew hundreds of families with children of all ages. The team distributed 150 pairs of shoes, 200 snack bags, and 197 self-regulation kits that promote social-emotional health in elementary students. Local children's book author Jessica Young also donated books for Family University to hand out at the event. The team let families know about Family University's offerings and provided family engagement resources for them to take home.

Family University resource table at the Southeast Community Easter Egg Hunt

Family University College & Career Readiness Family Learning Expo - Saturday, March 2, 2024

On Saturday, March 2, more than 200 Metro Schools caregivers, students, and family members gathered at the TSU Avon Williams Campus for Family University's College & Career Readiness Family Learning Expo. Dr. Jaime Lomax, MNPS Executive Director of Student Support Services, and Dr. Matt Nelson, MNPS Executive Director of College & Career Readiness, welcomed participants to the event. Event presenters included UpRise Nashville, the Martha O'Bryan Center, the Nashville Chamber of Commerce,  the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, and MNPS College & Career Readiness & Academies of Nashville.

Attendees were able to choose breakout sessions relevant to their students' and families' needs, such as "FAFSA 101," "What is Career-Based Learning?," and "Understanding the ACT." Attendees also visited a resource fair with representatives from local higher education institutions, career readiness programs, social service agencies, and more. The Family University team distributed scholarship workbooks, snack bags, hoodies, socks & shoes, COVID test kits, and more to families as the event wrapped up.

March 2, 2024 - Family University College & Career Readiness Family Learning Expo at TSU

Family University Events Recap- December 2023

The Family University team partnered on McMurray Middle School’s Family Success Night in late November. The event was a huge success, reaching more than 100 parents, caregivers and students. The team gave away resources such as coats, socks & shoes, hats & scarves, COVID test kits, and food boxes. The night was centered around mental & emotional health, so the team also distributed self-regulation kits geared toward middle school students and their families, which aid families in promoting healthy emotional expression.

Family University also partnered with MNPS’s First Time Drug Offender Program in early December. This program provides students and families with drug & substance use education. More than 120 parents & students attended the event; sessions for parents were geared toward supporting both their students and themselves. Session topics included supporting teens struggling with anxiety & depression and developing career goals & motivation. The Family University team also handed out hundreds of resources at this event ahead of the holiday season. We are looking forward to hosting more events in the community in spring 2024!

McMurray Middle School Family Success Night, 11/29/23

Family University Fall 2023 Event Updates - 11.15.23

The Family University team has been busy planning and hosting events this fall semester. In October, the team hosted "Attendance Matters" in collaboration with the Metro Student Attendance Center for caregivers of students experiencing attendance issues so far this school year. Participants received dinner, information on restorative parenting and attendance policies & best practices, and resources like COVID test kits, coats, and food boxes. Families were able to attend this workshop in lieu of a court date for their students' absences.

In November, Family University hosted "Creating Happy & Healthy Students" at Thurgood Marshall Middle School, a night centered around family engagement resources. Participants enjoyed dinner as they learned about the 5 roles that families play in their students' educational journey as well as how to use emotional self-regulation kits with their children at home when they are experiencing big feelings. In addition to self-regulation kits, these families also got to take home COVID test kits, coats, and food boxes.

Later this semester, Family University will partner on events with both McMurray Middle School and the MNPS First Time Drug Offenders Program. The team is already gearing up to plan & host even more events in the spring semester.

Supplies and resources provided for families at the Thurgood Marshall event, 11/9/23
Attendance Matters event, 10/24/23

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