Project Reflect was founded by Sister Sandra Smithson in 1992 to serve children living in poverty and to transform urban America through education and education reform. Project Reflect began with a summer tutoring program called PREP. PREP quickly grew to a year-round effort, successfully taking students significantly behind in school and bringing them up to read at grade level.
In 2003, Project Reflect opened Smithson-Craighead Academy, the first charter school in Middle Tennessee. Serving approximately 250 students in grades K-4, SCA offers children who are either failing in school or languishing in failing schools a top tier education with emphasis on math and literacy. PREP continues to support the students in an afterschool program offering specialized interventions and tutoring as well as enrichment programs like chess, art, music, and more.
Over 96% of our students qualify for free or reduced lunch. Most come to us a grade level or more behind in school and with a variety of affective needs that must be addressed before academic success can be achieved. Specialized interventions and tutoring programs further help these children overcome obstacles, including mental and/or physical health challenges such as ADHD, asthma and various learning disabilities as well as affective challenges, to achieve academic success. Our priorities are 1) a safe place for all the children; 2) a home away from home where the school staff attends to the children’s affective needs, character development, and self-identity as part of a caring community; 3) an exciting and effective laboratory for academic achievement.
We also work with the families to provide programs and interventions that support strong family function and self-identified needs.