Smile Is Universal Language for Watkins Photography and Nashville Students
Watkins' Photography professors Robin Paris and Joy McKenzie, Photography Lab manager Kristy West and student Mary Lindsey Clark spent an afternoon near the end of the school term at Metro Nashville's International Newcomer Academy (INA), which helps middle and high school students from varying cultures adjust to classrooms in the school system. The photo pros set up a studio in the schoolyard to take portraits of the 36 students, as a commemorative welcome to their new community.
John Mann, MNPS’ INA and Parent Outreach coordinator, said, “I can’t say enough good things about this experience. Robin, Joy and their colleagues were so gracious in providing these pictures for our students and their families. I’ve delivered some of them to the parents, and the reaction has been incredible.”
INA serves middle and high school students using ELD (English Language Development) pedagogically sound best classroom and discipline practices. Instruction focuses on intensive English language oral development, literacy, basic numeracy and math. Science and social studies theme-based content is integrated as students learn English. To introduce these new refugees and other immigrants to American culture, students participate in a variety of field trips and activities including singing and playing guitar, physical activities which promote team building and hands-on technology curriculum.