Teacher Joanna Williams, standing second from left, reacts to Janina Childs, seated left, as others, Kendra Malone, foreground, Andrea Kosia, in dark T-shirt, and Karen Robertson, right, look on. Photo by Mari’ McKenaey

By Clint Confehr

NASHVILLE, TN — A dozen Haynes Middle School students were ahead of the game as school reopened this month because of TEAM 1.

TEAM stands for Togetherness, Empathy, Acceptance and Motivation, according to Angela Booker who, with other volunteers, conducted a week of summer camp based at the school on West Trinity Lane.

Teachers agree — ask any of them — summer programs keep students thinking and learning. So, during the third week of July, TEAM 1 members had life lessons, including hygiene, counting money, and appropriate conversations with adults and peers.

TEAM 1 also provides older students with experience in professions they want when grownup.

Pearl Cohen sophomore Audra Kosia, 15, wants to be a registered nurse, so she volunteered as a TEAM1 counsellor. She’s considering Tennessee State University and Johnson University in Knoxville as her destination after high school.

Photographer Mari’ McKenaey holds the camera her aunt gave her. Photo by Clint Confehr

Photographer Mari’ McKenaey, 16, a junior at Maplewood High, shoots with a Nikon D-90 she got from her aunt. “I want to be a journalist and plan to go to Howard University” in Washington, D.C. because “it’s closer to New York where there’s a lot of fashion and news.”

Younger girls are the majority of TEAM 1’s members. They got breakfast and, one day, a movie after lunch, and instruction from a retired art teacher.

“Sharon Hurt [an at large member of metro’s council and president of the Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership] provided JUMP’s bus so the girls could go on field trips. Hurt’s driver took them to Sky High,” Booker said of a trampoline park. Other trips were to Rivergate Skate Center and the Wave Pool.

If there’s grant money for TEAM 1, Booker doesn’t know about it.

“It just started by me taking a week off to spend time with the girls,” Booker said. “Then, in

Haynes Middle School SRO Angela Booker, left, reacts when at large council member Sharon Hurt, president of the Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership, says she will provide transportation for TEAM 1, as Rev. Enoch Fuzz, right, looks on.
Photo by Clint Confehr

conversation with others, they said, ‘They should have T-shirts.’ Then someone said, ‘You should have meals.’” Use of the school is free. Haynes Middle’s principal “was all for it.”

Booker’s TEAM 1 time is during her vacation. She works for Metro Police as the school resource officer at Haynes Middle School.

TEAM1 is funded “out of my pocket and generous people in the community who pay for the

T-shirts, and bring groceries,” she said. “One lady said, ‘Put a menu together for them,’ and she just took me to a grocery, asking ‘What do you need?’” They got food and beverages.

Booker’s been assigned to Haynes Middle for seven years. Her law enforcement career began 15 years ago at the Davidson County Sheriff’s Department where she was a corrections officer.

She moved here from Gary, Ind.

“I’m in heaven now,” says Booker, 45. “I love what I’m doing.” It shows, she says; “I don’t look a day over 26.”

Clint Confehr

Clint Confehr — an American journalist since 1972 — first wrote for The Tennessee Tribune in 1999. His news writing and photography in South Central Tennessee and the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical...