#MNPSVoices: Judy Robinson, Community Achieves Program Specialist

Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSJudy Robinson grew up volunteering with her family, but her father had no idea that the “fun” he sometimes forced on his loved ones would strike such a chord with his daughter and inspire her career.

Robinson began her schooling intent on becoming a teacher, but after taking a community organizing class she realized that she hoped to use her talents to reach more than just one classroom a year. She wanted to empower people to bring change to their own communities.

Robinson developed a children’s program at a local homeless shelter before coming to MNPS as a Community Achieves program specialist. The Community Achieves staff provides wrap-around services to our students and families by working with community partners and volunteers.

But this is the first time the district has had a role like Robinson’s, managing volunteers and external partner relations for 34 Community Achieves schools. Her role is highly strategic: She looks at what data is trackable, and aligned with the district’s key performance indicators, and looks for ways to grow and expand programs based on those numbers.

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Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOS “We want to keep in mind the individuality of each school and match partners accordingly,” Robinson said. “So I help to streamline those processes and find the right fit.”

For example, a partner who initiates a mentorship program for young, at-risk boys may want to note improvements in the students’ chronic absenteeism, discipline incidents and grades. Robinson helps to identify those trackable data points to make sure the work is intentional and in the right space.

Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSRobinson’s favorite part of working with the community is seeing how willing the people of Nashville are to help — they just want to be told where and how.

Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOS“Over and over I see when we communicate a need, the community supports us and provides even more than we ask for,” Robinson said.

Her organizational skills have been key most especially in the last month.

Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSDuring tornado recovery efforts, and now during the COVID-19 health emergency, Robinson has helped coordinate volunteers and support. She is busier than ever because meal support for families has been indefinitely extended and will continue every weekday that schools are closed.

And other needs are being met at the school level, too. Since families are used to checking in with Community Achieves site coordinators, they have continued to have open lines of communication, which allows the district to keep a pulse on the area.

Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOS“Right now, even though kids are out of school, we must continue to meet the needs of our families. We are still speaking to site managers to identify what those are and communicate to partners,” Robinson said. “We also need to keep staff safe, so we are trying to find a process to keep all those in place.”

When Robinson is not at her day job, she continues to support Nashville by serving the homeless with her husband, who works for one of MNPS’ partner organizations, Alignment Nashville. She also loves to try out her family’s Caribbean recipes, she paints, and she is preparing for her first child, due this year.

Food Box Distribution

Following updated guidelines from the Tennessee Department of Education, MNPS has revised the timeline for food distribution at school locations to offer both breakfast and lunch at one time, reducing travel and lowering the risk of exposure for volunteers. Six MNPS school buses will also be used to pick up approximately 250 meals each from preparation kitchens every weekday and bring them to locations where children can pick up the meals. Locations and times can be found in the interactive map on our COVID-19 update page.

Volunteer Opportunities

If you would like to volunteer with food distribution, or in any other ways to help the community, contact . Families in need of food assistance should directly or call the United Way’s helpline at 2-1-1.