UCity corporate citizen TIAA turned 100 this year, and the financial company’s University Research Park center – already a strong supporter of CMS students – chose to celebrate by giving even more than usual to our schools.
Among the projects: sponsoring Vance High student trips to Washington and Charlotte’s Museum of the New South; and helping renovate a new media room and equip creative space in the new Governors’ Village STEM Academy.
TIAA is a founding corporate member of University City Connect, providing thousands of volunteer hours and strong financial support each year to numerous activities to Governors’ Village schools – Vance High, James Martin Middle and newly created Governors’ Village STEM Academy – as well as Martin Luther King Middle, Dorothy J. Vaughan Academy of Technology, University Meadows Elementary and Newell Elementary.
In its 100th anniversary year, TIAA took that involvement to an even higher level.
Vance High field trips to Levine Museum and Washington, DC
At Vance High, TIAA already provides a digital history module on African-American studies. This year – the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King – TIAA also sponsored field trips to the Levine Museum of the New South and, last April, to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, DC.
City Council member Braxton Winston accompanied the students as they toured the Levine Museum’s exhibit, K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace, about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and in Charlotte.
In Washington, TIAA arranged a behind-the-scenes tour guided by museum cultural historian John Franklin. The students, who had participated in the EVERFI 306 digital history course, now could experience that history through artifacts and stories of the men and women they had just studied.
Blazers, furniture and more for STEM learning
TIAA’s extra support was especially timely for the newly launched Governors’ Village STEM Academy.
CMS created the Pre-K through eighth-grade school by combining the sister schools of Morehead STEM Academy and Nathaniel Alexander
Elementary School. The combined facility on Neal Road has more than 2,000 students.
TIAA provided substantial money and volunteer manpower this year for a new student-operated media center; a “Makers Space” that replicates creative spaces common in many businesses; science interactive notebooks; the school’s financial literacy program; and blazers for 40 “Student Ambassadors.”
“To have TIAA sponsor our out-of-the-box ideas is just amazing,” said STEM Academy Principal Alejandra Garcia. “I couldn’t move the school forward without a dedicated partner like we have in TIAA.”