Belmont University public relations students are joining community leaders to help the Metro Nashville public schools create healthy and successful learning environments for children and youth. The students, as part of a class project, will be working with Alignment Nashville – a community organization that works hand in hand with Metro Nashville Public Schools to align community resources with the strategic goals of the schools. In addition, the organization has played a key role in bringing more than $11 million in grants into Nashville.
“Alignment Nashville is a unique partnership between community resources – nonprofit organizations, universities, businesses, Metro Government and faith-based organizations – and the Metro Nashville Public Schools,” Associate Director Dan Surface said. “We believe it takes the whole community to ensure that all of our children have a healthy and successful learning experience in preparation for whatever path they take upon graduation.”
The organization contacted Belmont University to enlist its public relations students in raising public awareness about Alignment Nashville in the community. In this partnership, 14 Belmont students are providing public relations expertise in addition to preparing media kits and other communications tools for the Alignment Nashville committees and their initiatives.
“The service-learning aspect of the class is a win-win program,” said Dr. Bonnie Riechert, Belmont professor teaching the class. “Alignment Nashville and the community benefit from the upper-level students’ skills in research, planning, communication and evaluation. The students benefit from gaining practical experience in a real-world setting.”
This is the third year Belmont public relations students have worked in the community as a part of a course titled “Public Relations Strategy and Implementation,” which pairs students with members of the nonprofit sector.
“At Belmont, we emphasize hands-on experience as a significant part of our curriculum, because we believe students ought to do public relations as well as study it. We are delighted that our students will be advancing their own education while enhancing the local educational system,” Pam Parry, director of the public relations program at Belmont and member of the Nashville Alignment communications committee, said.