Harding Academy is now in its seventh year of hosting the summer program Time to Rise. Time to Rise is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping at risk third to sixth graders to bridge academic learning through the summer in order to best enable each student to reach their full potential. The program runs through the entire month of June.
Time to Rise at Harding currently hosts rising third, fourth, and fifth graders from five public schools across Nashville. Harding Academy is the only site that is dedicated to the Hispanic population and has an average enrollment of fifty to fifty-five students. It is the largest of the four sites that include Ensworth, Montgomery Bell Academy, and Harpeth Hall.
The staff for Time to Rise at Harding consists of faculty and counselors from the Harding community. Several members of the Harding faculty are enrolled to teach STEM, reading, civics, and communications. Counselors for the program are Harding alums. This allows our visiting students to grasp the full concept of our community, its code as well as a sense of the Harding family.
Students are picked up by a bus each morning about 7:00 a.m., and then arrive at Harding around 8:00 a.m.. After a meeting with their counselors, students head to the cafeteria for breakfast. There is a whole group morning meeting, and then students break up into their classes. After two academic classes, they have snack, then two more academic classes, change into afternoon wear, head back to the cafeteria for lunch, and afterward begin afternoon activities. Afternoon activities include swimming, art, technology, sports, and field trips to the zoo, bowling, and Cheekwood. Time to Rise students work hard in the mornings and play hard in the afternoons. At the end of the day students change out of afternoon wear, have a wrap up with their counselors, and are back on the bus by 2:30 p.m. All of the afternoon wear is taken up each day and washed by the counselors and returned to students the next day.
At the end of the month, the program concludes with a formal banquet for all of the children and their families. There is a buffet style dinner, awards are given, and the evening ends with a slideshow of the past month’s events.
“This program really touches my heart. To be able to share with these children even a fraction of what makes Harding so amazing is worth every minute. We have been so fortunate that Harding’s administration, faculty and families have embraced this Time to Rise program. I truly believe that we are inspiring these students to be kind, be their best and never stop trying to achieve their goals.” ~Betsy Pylkas, Director of Time to Rise at Harding Academy