by the Columbine shooting in April of 1999, Lynn Bryant chose to
take a positive stand for children. As a tribute to her adored grandmother,
Bryant established the Nancy
Ferro Learning For Life Foundation, a non-profit organization that
provides academic tutoring and character education for elementary
school children. After completing
her album, she presided over the installation of a Learning For
Life program at the St. Pius X Elementary School in Nashville and
gave a private concert for the school’s 200 children, their
parents and teachers.
As early as elementary school, children learn habits and attitudes,
which shape their character – for better or for worse –
that determine how they will enter adulthood. Violent episodes,
unthinkable a few short years ago, are becoming all too common.
Teachers and counselors can often identify at-risk children facing
serious trouble ahead educationally and behaviorally. Many lack
basic skills to master the core subject areas. Others often go home
to dismal circumstances and return to school unprepared and lacking
confidence in their own abilities. Month follows week, the gap widens,
opportunities fade, frustration mounts.
Early intervention, however can give them a fighting chance. A child
with a safe and enriching after school environment can survive and
thrive. But our schools simply do not have the funds to provide
programs to help the children who desperately need attention. The
Nancy Ferro Learning for Life Foundation helps schools help
children. We give at risk youngsters opportunities to survive…to
grow…to succeed. We work at the grassroots level – each
school, each child at a time – finding out what is needed,
what works and then helping make it happen. We fund programs that
provide teachers, counselors and materials needed to tutor these
children while fostering the importance of character and compassion.
To date, through this program, the children are improving grades.
More importantly, they are learning skills that build character,
self-esteem and empathy toward others. These skills lead to personal
growth and success far beyond the classroom.
About Nancy Ferro: At age twelve,
Nancy Ferro lost her mother
and assumed the responsibility for raising five siblings. Though
circumstances prevented her from continuing her own formal schooling,
this hard-working woman educated herself while teaching her siblings,
children and grandchildren the importance of faith, integrity, and
compassion. She taught by example, giving unconditional love to
those around her. Her vision and foresight shaped all whom she touched
for nearly eighty years. As she spent her life helping children
grow in wisdom and maturity, so this
Foundation begun in her memory continues her life-giving work.